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Full text of "The fanatics"

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The Fanatics 



By 



PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR 

Author of " Lyrics of Lowly Life,' 5 
"Candle-Lightin' Time," etc. 




New York 

Dodd, Mead and Company 

1902 



Copyright, 1901, 
By Dodd, Mead and Company. 



TO MY FRIEND 

EDWIN HENHY KEEN 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/fanaticsOOdunb 



Contents 



CHAP. 

I. LOVE AND POLITICS 

II. THE PARTING OF TWO WAYS 

III. PREPARATION 

IV. SONS AND FATHERS 
V. " THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE 

VI. A LONE FIGHT 

VII. DIVIDED HOUSES . 

VIII. AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART 

IX. A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 

X. SORROW MAY LAST FOR A NIGHT 

XI. AT HOME .... 

XII. A JOURNEY SOUTH 

XIII. A STEWART COMES TO HIS OWN 

XIV. THE CONTRABANDS 
XV. LICENSE OR LIBERTY . 

XVI. DOLLY AND WALTER 

XVII. WHEN LOVE STANDS GUARD 

XVIII. AN AFFAIR OF HONOR . 



PAGE 
1 

8 

17 

28 

51 

62 

73 

84 

99 

109 

121 

131 

143 

155 

178 

190 

201 

216 



VI 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

XIX. JUSTICE 228 

XX. THE VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 245 

XXI. A VAGUE QUEST .... 256 

XXII. THE HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 266 

XXIII. A TROUBLESOME SECRET . . 280 

XXIV. ROBERT VAN DOREN GOES HOME . 290 
XXV. CONCLUSION 305 



The Fanatics 

CHAPTER I 

LOVE AND POLITICS 

The warmth of the April sunshine had brought 
out the grass, and Mary Waters and Bob Van 
Doren trod it gleefully beneath their feet as they 
wended their way homeward from the outskirts 
of the town, where Mary had gone ostensibly to 
look for early spring blossoms and where Bob 
had followed her in quest of a pet setter that 
was not lost. 

The little town was buzzing with excitement 
as the young people entered it, but they did not 
notice it, for a sweeter excitement was burning 
in their hearts. 

Bob and Mary had been engaged for three 
months, a long time in those simple days in 
Ohio, where marriages were often affairs of a 
glance, a word and a parent's blessing. The 
parent's blessing in this case had been forthcom- 

1 



2 , THE FANATICS 

ing too, for while the two widowed fathers could 
not agree politically, Stephen Van Doren being 
a staunch Democrat, and Bradford Waters as 
staunch a Republican, yet they had but one mind 
as to the welfare of their children. 

They had loud and long discussions on the ques- 
tion of slavery and kindred subjects, but when it 
came to shaking hands over the union of Bob and 
Mary, they were as one. They had fallen out 
over the Missouri Compromise and quarrelled 
vigorously over the Fugitive Slave Law ; but 
Stephen had told his son to go in and win, for 
there was not a better girl in the village than 
Mary, and Bradford had said " Yes " to Bob when 
he came. 

On this day as the young people passed down 
Main street, oblivious of all save what was in 
their hearts, some people who stood on the out- 
skirts of a crowd that was gathered about the 
courthouse snickered and nudged each other. 

" Curious combination," old man Thorne said 
to his nearest neighbor, who was tiptoeing to get 
a glimpse into the middle of the circle. 

" What's that ? " 

" Look a-there," and he pointed to the lovers 
who had passed on down the street. 

" Greewhillikens," said the onlooker, " what 
a pity somebody didn't call their attention ; 
wouldn't it ' a' been a contrast, though ? " 



LOVE AND POLITICS 3 

" It would ' a' been worse than a contras' ; it 
would ' a' been a broken engagement, an' perhaps 
a pair o' broken hearts. Well, of all fools, as the 
say in' is, a ol fool is the worst." 

" An' a Southern fool up North who has grown 
old in the South," said Johnson, who was some- 
what of a curbstone politician. 

" Oh, I don't know," said Thorne placidly, 
"different people has different ways o' thinkin'." 

" But when you're in Rome, do as Rome does," 
returned Johnson. 

" Most men carries their countries with them. 
The Dutchman comes over here, but he still eats 
his sauerkraut." 

" Oh, plague take that. America for the 
Americans, I say, and Ohio for the Ohioans. 
Old Waters is right." 

" How long you been here from York state ? " 

" Oh, that ain't in the question." 

"Oh, certainly not. It's alius a matter o' 
whose ox is gored." 

The matter within the circle which had awak- 
ened Mr. Johnson's sense of contrast was a hot 
debate which was just about terminating. Two 
old men, their hats off and their faces flushed, 
were holding forth in the midst of the crowd. 
One was Stephen Van Doren, and the other was 
Bradford Waters. 

The former had come up from Virginia some- 



4 THE FANATICS 

time in the forties, and his ideas were still the 
ideas of the old South. He was a placid, gentle- 
manly old man with a soldierly bearing and 
courtly manners, but his opinions were most 
decided, and he had made bitter enemies as well 
as strong friends in the Ohio town. The other 
was the typical Yankee pioneer, thin, wiry and 
excitable. He was shouting now into his op- 
ponent's face, " Go back down South, go back to 
Virginia, and preach those doctrines ! " 

"They've got sense enough to know them 
down there. It's only up here to gentlemen like 
you that they need to be preached." 

" You talk about secession, you, you ! I'd like 
to see you build a fence unless the rails would all 
stand together — one rail falling this way, and 
another pulling that." 

The crowd laughed. 

" I'd like you to show me a hand where one 
linger wasn't independent of another in an emer- 
gency." 

"Build a fence," shouted Waters. 

" Pick up a pin ! " answered Yan Doren. 

" You're trying to ruin the whole country ; 
you're trying to stamp on the opinions that the 
country has lived for and fought for and died 
for " 

" Seven states have seceded, and I think in 
some of those seven were men who lived and 



LOYE AKD POLITICS 5 

fought and even died for their country. Yes, 
sir, I tell you, Yankee as you are, to your face, 
the South has done for this country what you 
buying and selling, making and trading Yankees 
have never done. You have made goods, but the 
South has produced men." The old man was 
warmed up. 

" Men, men, we can equal any you bring." 

" Calhoun ! " 

" Sumner ! " 

"Clay!" 

" Webster ! " 

" We shall claim Douglass ! " 

" Lincoln ! " 

" I should have said the South produced gen- 
tlemen, not rail-splitters. We don't make states- 
men of them." 

" We produce men, and we'd make soldiers of 
them if it was necessary." 

" Well, it may be." 

" Oh, no, it won't. Even the state that gave 
birth to men like you, Stephen Yan Doren, 
wouldn't dare to raise its hand against the 
Union." 

" Wait and see." 

" Wait and see ! I don't need to wait and see. 
I know." 

"Bah, you're all alike, dreamers, dreamers, 
dreamers." 



6 THE FANATICS 

" Dreamers, maybe, but my God, don't wake 
us!" 

The crowd began to break as it saw that the 
argument was over, and the bystanders whis- 
pered and laughed among themselves at the vehe- 
mence of the two men. 

" Wind-bags." 

" Time wasted listening." 

" War — pshaw ! " 

Just then a newsboy tore into the square shout- 
ing, " Paper, paper ! " and every heart stood still 
with ominous dread at the next words, "Fort 
Sumter fired on ! " The crowd stood still, and 
then with one accord, formed around the old 
men. 

A slow smile covered Stephen Van Doren's 
lips as he stood facing Bradford Waters. 

" Well, they've done it," he said. 

" Yes," replied the other, wavering from the 
shock, " now what are you going to do about 
it?" 

The old man straightened himself with sudden 
fire. He took off his hat and his thin white 
hair blew hither and thither in the cool spring 
breeze. 

" I'll tell you what I'm going to do about it. 
I'll tell you what I'm going to do, when the call 
comes, I'm going down there and I'll help whip 
them out of their boots — and if they won't take 



LOYE AND POLITICS 1 

me, I'll send a son. Now what are you going to 
do? 

" Likewise." 

Bradford Waters was known as a religious 
man, but now he turned and raising his hand to 
heaven said, 

" God grant that we or our sons may meet 
where the right will win, you damned copper- 
head, you ! " 

In an instant Yan Doren's fist shot out, but 
some one caught his arm. Waters sprang to- 
wards him, but was intercepted, and the two 
were borne away by different crowds, who were 
thunderstruck at the awful calamity which had 
fallen upon the nation. 

The two old men sweated to be loosed upon 
each other, but they were forcibly taken to their 
homes. 

Over the gate of the Waters' cottage, Bob 
Yan Doren leaned, and Mary's hand was in his. 



CHAPTEE II 

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS 

" Don't you think a little cottage down by the 
river would be the best thing, Mary ? " asked 
Bob. 

"And then you'd be away from me every 
minute you could spare fishing. I know you, 
Bob Van Doren." 

From the inside of the house Mary's brother 
Tom " twitted " the two unmercifully. 

" I say there, Bob," he called, " you'd better 
let Mary come in and help about this supper. If 
you don't, there'll be a death when father comes 
home." 

Mary's father was gentle with her, and this 
remark of her brother's was so obviously hyper- 
bolic that she burst out laughing as she flung 
back, " Oh, I guess you've kept Nannie Woods 
from her work many a time, and there haven't 
been any deaths in that family yet." 

" But there may be in this if Luke Sharpies 
catches you sparking around Nannie," interposed 
Bob. 

8 ' 



THE PAKTING OF THE WAYS 9 

" Oh, I can attend to Luke any day." 

" That's so, Luke isn't a very fast runner." 

Tom threw a corncob out of the door and it 
struck Bob's hat and knocked it off. " There's an 
answer for you," he called. 

They were still laughing and Mary's face was 
flushed with love and merriment when Bradford 
Waters came up and strode silently through the 
gateway. 

" I must go in now," said Mary. 

" So soon ? Why it's hardly time to put the 
potatoes on yet." 

" Suppose sometimes you should come home 
and find your supper not ready ? " 

" Oh, I wouldn't mind if you were there." 

Just then Bradford Waters' voice floated an- 
grily out to them, 

"What's that young whelp hanging around 
my gate for ? " 

The girl turned pale, and her heart stood still, 
but the young man only laughed and shouted 
back, " What's the matter, Mr. Waters, you and 
father been at war again ? " 

" Yes, we've been at war, and soon we shall 
all be at war. Some of your dirty kinsmen have 
fired on Fort Sumter." 

" What ! " 

" Yes, and there'll be hell for this day's work, 
you mark my words." The old man came to the 



10 THE FANATICS 

door again, and his son stood behind him, hold- 
ing his arm. " Get away from my gate there. 
Mary, come in the house. I've got better busi- 
ness for you than skylarking with copperheads." 

The girl stood transfixed. " What is it, father, 
what is it ? " cried Tom. 

" I tell you, those Southern devils have fired 
on Fort Sumter, and it means war ! Get away 
from here, Bob Van Doren. There is a time 
when men must separate on the ground of their 
beliefs, and this house has no dealing with the 
enemies of the Union, Marv." 

But the girl's eyes were flashing, and her lips 
compressed. " Go in, Mary," said Bob, and he 
dropped her hand. His face was red and pale 
by turns. She turned and went into the house, 
and her lover left the gate and walked down the 
street. 

" Let this be the last time I catch you talking 
with one of the Yan Dorens. We are two fami- 
lies on opposite sides of a great question. We 
can have no dealings, one with the other." 

" But father, you gave Bob the right to love 
me, and you can't take it back, you can't." 

" I can take it back, and I will take it back. 
I'd rather see you marry Nigger Ed, the town 
crier, than to cross my blood with that Yan 
Doren breed. To-day, Stephen Yan Doren re- 
joiced because his flag had been fired upon. The 



THE PAKTING OF THE WAYS 11 

flag he's living under, the flag that protects him 
wherever he goes ! " 

" That wasn't Bob, father." 

" Like father, like son," broke in Tom passion- 
ately. 

" Why, Tom ! " Mary turned her eyes, grief- 
filled to overflowing upon her brother, "you 
and he were such friends ! " 

" I have no friends who are not the friends of 
my country. Since I know what I know, I 
would not take Bob Van Doren's hand if he 
were my brother." 

" If he were Nannie Woods' brother ? " 

" Nannie Woods is a good loyal girl, and her 
affections are placed on a loyal man. There is 
no division there." 

" Bob is right, Mary. We have come to the 
parting of the ways. Those who hold with the 
South must go with the South. Those who hold 
with the North must stand by the flag. We are 
all either Union men or we are rebels." 

"But father, what of Vallandigham ? You 
have always said that he was a noble man." 

" Vallandigham ? Let me never hear his 
name again ! In this house it spells treason. I 
can make some allowance for the Southerner, 
living among his institutions and drawing his 
life from them ; but for the man who lives at 
the North, represents Northern people and fills 



12 THE FANATICS 

his pockets with the coin which Northern hands 
have worked for, for him, I have only contempt. 
Such men hide like copperheads in the grass, 
and sting when we least expect it. Weed them 
out, I say, weed them out ! " 

The old man shook with the passion of his 
feelings, and his face was ashen with anger. 
There had been a time when Yallandigham was 
his idol. He had gone against his party to help 
vote him into Congress, and then 

It was a strangely silent meal to which the 
three sat down that night. Tom was feverishly 
anxious to be out for news, and Mary with tear- 
stained face sat looking away into space. There 
was a compression about her lips that gave her 
countenance a wonderful similarity to her 
father's. She could not eat, and she could not 
talk, but her thoughts were busy with the events 
that were going on about her. How she hated it 
all — the strife, the turmoil, the bickerings and dis- 
agreements. The Union, Confederacy, abolition, 
slavery, the North, the South ; one the upper, 
the other, the lower millstone, and between 
them, love and the women of the whole country. 
Why could not they be let alone ? Was there not 
enough to be sacrificed that even the budding 
flower of love must be brought too ? It was 
hard, too hard. She loved Bob Yan Doren. 
What did she care with which side he sympa- 



THE PARTING OF THE WAYS 13 

thized ? She loved Bob, not his politics. What 
had she to do with those black men down there 
in the South, it was none of her business ? For 
her part, she only knew one black man and he 
was bad enough. Of course, Nigger Ed was 
funny. They all liked him and laughed at him, 
but he was not exemplary. He filled, with equal 
adaptability, the position of town crier and town 
drunkard. Really, if all his brethren were like 
him, they would be none the worse for having 
masters. Anyhow, her father had not been 
always so rigid, for he laughed when somebody 
stole the Bible from the colored folks' meeting- 
house, and wondered what they could do with a 
Bible anyhow. 

Her reverie was broken by her brother's rising 
from the table. 

" I'm going out to see what's going on," he 
announced. 

" I'll walk up the street with you," said his 
father. 

They took their hats and went out, and with a 
grey face, but set lips, the daughter went about 
her evening's work. 

When they reached the courthouse a crowd 
was gathered there, and rumors and stories of all 
kinds were passing from lip to lip. Another 
crowd was gathered on the opposite side of the 
street, hooting and jeering, while now and then 



U THE FANATICS 

some self-appointed orator harangued it. The as- 
sembly was composed of some of the worst ele- 
ments of the town, reinforced by the young 
sports of some of the best families. Altogether, 
it was a combination of hot blood and law- 
lessness. 

An old friend of the Waters', who had been 
listening to the noisier crowd, brushed against 
the two men, and said under his breath, " Come 
on home, there's hell's work brewing here to- 
night." 

" Then I'll stay and be in it," said the older 
man." 

" There's nothing you can help about," replied 
the friend. " You'd better come." 

" No, we'll stay." 

The lawless element, emboldened at the news 
of Sumter's disaster, determined to have some 
fun at the expense of their opponents. With 
one accord, they surged towards the office of the 
Republican, armed with horns, and whistled, 
hooted and jeered themselves hoarse. 

" This is child's play," said Bradford Waters 
to his son," if this is all they're going to do, we 
might as well go home." 

They went back to the house, where for hours 
they could hear the horns and whistles of the 
crowd. 

It was near midnight, when they were awak- 



THE PASTING OF THE WAYS 15 

ened by the clanging of a bell, and they heard 
Nigger Ed as he sped past the house, crying, 
" Fiah, fiah ! De 'Publican buildin' on fiah, tu'n 
out ! " 

The Waters were dressed and out of the house 
in a twinkling and had joined the crowd of men 
and boys who, with shouts and grunts, were tug- 
ging at the old hose-cart. Then they strained 
and tore their way to the Republican office 
where the fire had made terrible headway. The 
hose was turned on the building, and the pumps 
started. The flames crackled and the water 
hissed and like an echo there floated to the ears 
of the toiling men the cry of the rioters far away 
in another part of the town. They had done 
their work. It had, perhaps, come about unin- 
tentionally. They had only met to jeer; but 
finally some one threw a stone. The sound of 
crashing glass filled them with the spirit of de- 
struction. A rioter cried, "Fire the damned 
shanty ! " There were cries of " No ! No ! " but 
the cry had already been taken up, and a brand 
had been flung. Then madness seized them all 
and they battered and broke, smashed and tore, 
fired the place and fled singing with delirious joy. 

The work of the firemen was of no avail, and 
in an hour the building and its contents were 
a confused mass of ashes, charred beams and 
molten metal. 



16 THE FANATICS 

When the Waters reached home, Mary, wide- 
eyed, white and shivering, sat up waiting for 
them. She hurried to give them each a cup of 
coffee, but asked no questions, though her hungry 
eyes craved the news. She sat and stared at 
them, as they eagerly drank. 

Then her father turned to her. " Well/' he said, 
" here's another sacrifice to the spirit of rebellion 
in the North. A man ruined, his property de- 
stroyed. They have burned the Republican, 
but they can't burn the principle it stood for, and 
the fire they lighted to-night will leave a flame in 
the heart of loyal citizens that will burn out 
every stock and stubble of secession, and disloy- 
alty. Then woe to the copperheads who are 
hiding in the grass ! When the flames have 
driven them out, we will trample on them, tram- 
ple on them ! " The old man rose and ground 
his heel into the floor. 

Mary gave a cry, and shivering, covered her 
face with her hands. 



CHAPTER III 

PREPARATION 

There were many other men in Dorbury no 
less stirred than was Bradford Waters over the 
events of the night, and the news from Charles- 
ton harbor. The next day saw meetings of the 
loyal citizens in every corner of the little town, 
which at last melted into one convention at the 
courthouse. Those who had no southern sympa- 
thies had been stung into action by the unwar- 
ranted rashness of the rioters, which brought the 
passions of the time so close to themselves. 

The one question was asked on all sides : How 
soon would the president call for troops to put 
down this insurrection, and even as they asked 
it, the men were organizing, recruiting, drilling 
and forming companies to go to the front. The 
Light Guards, the local organization, donned 
their uniforms and paraded the streets. Already 
drums were heard on all sides, and the shrill cry 
of the fifes. In that portion of the town where 
lived a number of wealthy Southerners, there 
was the quiet and desolation of the grave. 

17 



18 THE FANATICS 

Their doors were barred and their windows 
were shut. Even they could not have believed 
that it would come to this, but since it had come, 
it was too soon for them to readjust themselves 
to new conditions, too soon to go boldly over to 
the side of the South, or changing all their tradi- 
tions, come out for the North and the Union, 
which in spite of all, they loved. So they kept 
silent, and the turmoil went on around them. 
The waves of excitement rolled to their very 
doors, receded and surged up again. Through 
their closed blinds, they heard the shouts of the 
men at the public meeting a few blocks away. 
They heard the tramping of feet as the forming 
companies moved up and down. The men knew 
that many of their employees were away, min- 
gling with the crowds and that work was being 
neglected, but they kept to their rooms and to 
their meditations. 

" Ah," said one, " it's a hard thing to make us 
choose between the old home and the old flag. 
We love both, which the better, God only knows." 

The children came home from school and told 
how one of the teachers was preparing to go to 
war, and it brought the situation up to their 
very faces. Those were, indeed, terrible times 
when preceptors left their desks for the battle- 
field. But still their hearts cried within them, 
"What shall we do?" 



PREPARATION 19 

In the afternoon of the day following the con- 
vention, Nannie Woods came over for a chat 
with Mary "Waters. They were close friends, 
and as confidential as prospective sisters should 
be. 

" Do you think they will fight ? " asked Nannie. 

" The South ? Yes, they will fight, I am sure 
of it. They have already shown what is in 
them. Father and Tom think it will be easy to 
subdue them, but I feel, somehow, that it will be 
a long struggle." 

"But we shall whip them," cried the other 
girl, her eyes flashing. 

"I don't know, I don't know. I wish we 
didn't have to try." 

" Why, Mary, are you afraid ? " 

" Oh, no, I'm not afraid, but there are those I 
love on both sides and in the coming contest, 
whichever wins, I shall have my share of 
sorrow." 

" Whichever wins ! Why you haven't a single 
friend in the South ! " 

"I have no friend in the South — now." 

" Oh, you mean Rob Yan Doren. Well, if he 
didn't think enough of me to be on my side, I'd 
send him about his business." 

" A man who didn't have courage enough to 
hold to his own opinions wouldn't be the man 
I'd marry." 



20 THE FANATICS 

" A man who didn't have love enough to change 
his opinions to my side wouldn't be the man for 
me." 

"Very well, Nannie, we can't agree." 

" But we're not going to fall out, Mary," and 
Nannie threw her arms impulsively around her 
friend's neck. "But oh, I do long to see our 
boys march down there and show those rebels 
what we're made of. What do you think ? 
Father says they claim that one of them can whip 
five Yankees, meaning us. Well, I'd like to see 
them try it." 

" Spoken like a brave and loyal little woman," 
cried Tom, rushing in. 

"Eavesdropping," said Nannie coquettishly, 
but Mary turned her sad eyes upon him. 

"I am no less loyal than Nannie," she said, 
"and if the worst comes, I know where my 
allegiance lies, but — but — I wish it wasn't neces- 
sary, I wish it wasn't necessary to take sides." 

" Never you mind, Mary, it's going to be all 
right. We'll whip them in a month or two." 

" We ! " cried Nannie. " Oh, Tom, you're 
never going ? " 

" Why, what should I be doing when men are 
at war ? " 

" But will there be war ? " 

" There is war. The South has fallen out of 
step and we shall have to whip them back into 



PREPARATION 21 

line. But it won't be long, two or three months 
at most, and then all will be quiet again. It may 
not even mean bloodshed. I think a display of 
armed force will be sufficient to quell them." 

" God grant it may be so." 

Tom turned and looked at his sister in an 
amused way. " Oh, you needn't be afraid, Mary, 
Bob Van Doren won't go. Copperheads only 
talk, they never fight, ha, ha." 

" Tom Waters, that's mean of you," Nannie 
exclaimed, " and it's very little of you, for a day 
or two ago Bob was your friend." She held 
Mary closer as she spoke, but Tom Waters was 
imbued with the madness that was in the air. 

" What," he burst out, " Bob Van Doren my 
friend ! I have no friend except the friends of 
the Union, I tell you, and mark my words, when 
the others of us march away, you will find him 
skulking with the rest of his breed in the grass, 
where all snakes lie." 

" Bob Van Doren is no coward," said Mary in- 
tensely, "and when the time comes, he will be 
found where his convictions lead, either boldly 
on the side of the Union or fighting for the cause 

which his honor chooses, you " She broke 

down and burst into tears. 

" Oh, dry up, Mary," Tom said, with rough 
tenderness, " I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. 
Rob's a good enough fellow, but oh, I wish he 



22 THE FANATICS 

was on our side. Don't cry, Mary, he's a first- 
rate fellow, and I — I'll be friends with him." 

" Tom, you go away," cried Nannie, " you're 
just like all men, a great big, blundering — don't 
cry, Mary, don't cry. Mind your own business, 
Tom Waters, nobody wants you officiating around 
here, you've put your foot in it, and if you get 
smart, Mary and I will both turn rebel. Take 
your arm away." 

" A pretty rebel you'd make." 

"I'd make a better rebel than you would a 
soldier." 

"All right, I'll show you," and the young 
man went out and slammed the door behind 
him. 

"Now you've hurt his feelings," said Mary, 
suddenly drying her tears. 

"I don't care, it was all your fault, Mary 
Waters." Then they wept in each other's arms 
because they were both so miserable. 

Just then, the negro known as Nigger Ed, 
came running down the street. " Laws, have 
mussy on us, dey's hangin' Mistah Y'landi'ham ! " 

The hearts of the two girls stood still with 
horror for the moment, and they clutched each 
other wildly, but the taint of Eve conquered, and 
they hurried to the door to get the news. 

" Nigger Ed, Nigger Ed ! " they called, and the 
colored man came breathlessly back to them. 



PREPARATION 23 

" What did you say as you passed the house ? 
They're hanging Mr. Yallandigham ? " 

" Yes'm, dey's hangin' him up by de co'thouse, 
a whole crowd o' men's a-hangin' him. Yo' 
fathah's 'mongst 'em, missy," he said turning to 
Mary. 

"My father helping to hang Yallandigham! 
Oh, what are we coming to ? Isn't it a terrible 
thing ? Why, it's murder ! " 

Nannie called across to a friend who was pass- 
ing on the other side of the street, " Oh, Mr. 
Smith, can it be true that they are hanging Yal- 
landigham ? " 

The friend laughed. " Only in effigy," he said. 

" Get along with you, Ed," said Nannie indig- 
nantly ; " running around here scaring a body to 
death ; they're only hanging him in effigy.^ 

"Effigy, e&gy, dat's whut dey said, but hit 
don't mek no diffunce how a man's hung, des so 
he's hung." 

" Go along, you dunce, it's a stuffed Yalland- 
igham they're hanging." 

" Stuffed ! " cried Ed, " I t'ought Q&igy meant 
his clothes. Lawd bless yo' soul, missy, an' me 
brekin' my naik runnin' f'om a stuffed co'pse. I 
reckon I 'larmed half de town," and Ed went on 
his way. 

" And it's for those people our brothers and 
fathers are going to war ? " 



24 THE FANATICS 

" Oh, no, not at all," said Nannie. " It's for 
the Union and against states' rights, and — and — 
everything like that." 

" Those people are at the bottom of it all, I 
know it. I knew when that book by Mrs. Stowe 
came out. They're at the bottom of all this 
trouble. I wish they'd never been brought into 
this country." 

"Why, how foolish you are, Mary, what on 
earth would the South have done without them ? 
You don't suppose white people could work down 
in that hot country ? " 

"White people will work down in that hot 
country, and they will fight down there, and oh, 
my God, they will die down there ! " 

" Mary, you cry now at the least thing. I be- 
lieve you're getting a touch of hysteria. If you 
say so, I'll burn some feathers under your nose." 

" It isn't hysterics, Nannie, unless the whole 
spirit of the times is hysterical, but it is hard to 
see families that have known and loved each 
other for so long suddenly torn asunder by these 
dissensions." 

" But the women folks needn't be separated. 
They can go on loving each other just the same." 

" No, the women must and will follow their 
natural masters. It only remains for them to 
choose which shall be their masters, the men at 
home, or those whom they love outside." 



PKEPAKATION 25 

" "Well, with most of us that will be an easy 
matter, for our lovers and the folks at home 
agree — forgive me, Mary, I mean no reflection 
upon you, and I am so sorry." 

" We are not all so fortunate, but however it 
comes, our women's hearts will bear the burdens. 
The men will get the glory and we shall have the 
grief." 

" Hooray ! " Tom's voice floated in from the 
street, and he swung in at the gate, singing gaily, 
his cap in his hand. 

"Oh, what is it, Tom?" cried Nannie, 
" what's the news ? " 

" The bulletin says it is more than likely that 
the president will call for volunteers to-morrow, 
and I'm going to be the first lieutenant in the 
company, if the Light Guards go as a body." 

" Oh, my poor brother ! " 

" Poor nothing, boom, boom, ta, ra, ra, boom, 
forward march ! " And Tom tramped around 
the room in an excess of youthful enthusiasm. 
He was still parading, much to Nannie's pride 
and delight when his father entered and stood 
looking at him. His eyes were swollen and 
dark, and there were lines of pain about his 
mouth. 

" Ah, Tom," he said presently, " there'll be 
something more than marching to do. I had ex- 
pected to go along with you, but they tell me 



26 THE FANATICS 

I'm too old, and so I must be denied the honor 
of going to the front ; but if you go, my son, I 
want your eyes to be open to the fact that you 
are going down there for no child's play. It will 
be full grown men's work. There will be uni- 
forms and shining equipments, but there will be 
shot and shell as well. You go down there to 
make yourself a target for rebel bullets, and a 
mark for Southern fevers. There will be the 
screaming of fifes, but there will also be the 
whistling of shot. The flag that we love will 
float above you, but over all will hover the dark 
wings of death." 

" Oh, father, father," cried Mary. 

" It is a terrible business, daughter." 

Tom had stood silent in the middle of the floor 
while his father was speaking, and now he drew 
up his shoulders and answered, " Don't be afraid 
of me, father, I understand it all. If I go to the 
war, I shall expect to meet and endure all that 
the war will bring, hardships, maybe worse. I'm 
not going for fun, and I don't think you'll ever 
have reason to be ashamed of me." 

Mary flung herself on her father's breast and 
clung to him as if fearful that he also might be 
taken from her. But Nannie, with burning face, 
ran across and placed her hand in Tom's. 

" That's right, Tom, and I'm not afraid for 
you." The young man put his hand tenderly 



PKEPAKATION 27 

upon the girl's head, and smiled down into her 
face. 

"You're a brave little woman, Nannie," he 
said. The deep menace of the approaching con- 
test seemed to have subdued them all. 

" I'm not afraid for my son's honor," said Brad- 
ford Waters proudly, " but we must all remem- 
ber that war brings more tears than smiles, and 
makes more widows than wives." 

" We know that," said Nannie, " but we women 
will play our part at home, and be brave, won't 
we, Mary?" 

The girl could not answer, but she raised her 
head from her father's shoulder and gripped her 
brother's hand tightly. 

It was strange talk and a strange scene for 
these self-contained people who thought so little 
of their emotions ; but their very fervor gave a 
melodramatic touch to all they did that at 
another time must have appeared ridiculous. 



CHAPTEK IV 

SONS AND FATHEES 

The scenes that were taking place in Dorbury 
were not different from those that were being 
enacted over the whole country. While the 
North was thunderstruck at the turn matters 
had taken, there had yet been gathering there a 
political force which only needed this last act of 
effrontery to galvanize its intention into action. 
Everywhere, men were gathering themselves into 
companies, or like Dorbury, already had their 
Light Guards. Then like the sound of a deep 
bell in the midst of potential silence came the 
president's proclamation and the waiting hosts 
heard gladly. Lincoln's call for troops could 
hardly do more than was already done. Volunteer- 
ing was but a word. In effect, thousands of men 
were ready, and the call meant only marching 
orders. The enthusiasm of the time was infec- 
tious. Old men were vying with youths in their 
haste and eagerness to offer their services to the 
country. As Bradford Waters had said, it was a 
time for sharp divisions, and men who had been 

28 



SONS AND FATHERS 29 

lukewarm in behalf of the Northern cause 
before, now threw themselves heart and soul 
into it. 

This state of affairs effected Southern sympa- 
thizers in the North in two ways. It reduced the 
less robust of spirit to silence and evasion. The 
bolder and more decided ones were still also, but 
between the silence of one and that of the other 
was a vast difference of motive. One was the 
conceding silence of fear ; the other was a sullen 
repression that brooded and bided its time. 

Among those who came out strongly on the 
side of the South, was old Colonel Stewart, one 
of the oldest citizens of the town. He had served 
with distinction throughout the Mexican war, and 
was the close friend of Vallandigham. He had 
come of good old Yirginia blood, and could not 
and would not try to control his utterances. So 
when the crisis came, his family, fearing the heat 
and violence of the time, urged him to go South, 
where his words and feelings would be more in 
accordance with the views of his neighbors. But 
he angrily refused. 

"No," said he, "I will not run from them a 
single step. I will stay here, and thrust the 
truth of what I believe down their throats." 

" But it will do no good," said his old wife 
plaintively. " These people are as set in their be- 
liefs as you are in yours, and you have no more 



30 THE FANATICS 

chance of turning them than of stemming the 
Ohio River." 

" I am not here to stem the current. Let them 
go on with it and be swept to destruction by 
their own madness, but they shall not move me." 

"All of your friends are keeping silent, 
colonel, although they feel as deeply as you do." 

" All the more reason for him who feels and 
dares speak to speak." 

" Then, too, you owe it to your family to leave 
this place. Your views make it hard for us, and 
they will make it worse as the trouble grows." 

" I hope I have a family heroic enough to bear 
with me some of the burdens of the South." 

His wife sighed hopelessly. It seemed a throw- 
ing of her words into empty air to talk to her 
husband. But Emily Stewart took up the cause. 
She had the subtlety of the newer generation, 
which in argument she substituted for her 
mother's simple directness. 

" It seems to me, father," she said, u that you 
owe the most not to your family, but to your- 
self." 

" What do you mean ? " he said, turning upon 
her. 

" That if you are going to bear the burdens of 
the South, you should bear them not half-heart- 
edly, but in full." 

" Well, am I not ? " 



SONS AND FATHERS 31 

" Let me explain. If trouble should come to 
the South, if disaster or defeat, it would be easy 
for you, for any man, to raise his voice in her be- 
half, while he, himself, rides out and beyond the 
stress of the storm. If you are on the side of the 
South, she has a right to demand your presence 
there ; the strength of your personality thrown 
in with her strength." 

The old man thought deeply, and then he said, 
" I believe you are right. Body as well as soul 
should be with the South now. Yes, we will go 
South. But I am sorry about "Walter. He has 
been so bound up in his work. It will be a great 
disappointment for him to go away and leave it 
all. But then he may, in fact, I hope he will 
find consolation for whatever he loses in defend- 
ing the birthplace of his father against the in- 
vasion of vandals." 

The two women were silent. They were 
keener than the man. Women always are ; and 
these knew or felt with a vividness that bordered 
on knowledge that Walter would not think as 
his father thought or go his father's way, and 
here the breach would come. But the colonel 
never once thought but that his son would enter 
heartily into all his plans and he prided himself 
upon the step he was about to take. His wife and 
daughter went out and left him anxiously await- 
ing Walter's coming. 



32 THE FANATICS 

They were apprehensive when they heard the 
young man's step in the hall, and afterwards 
heard him enter the library where the colonel 
always insisted that any matter of importance 
should be discussed. 

Heroism, real or fancied, is its own reward, its 
own audience and its own applause. With con- 
tinued thought upon the matter, Colonel Stew- 
art's enthusiasm had reached the fever pitch 
from which he could admit but one view of it. 
He had bade the servant send his son to him as 
soon as he came in, and he was walking back and 
forth across the floor when he heard the young 
man's step. The old man paused and threw back 
his head with the spirited motion that was 
reminiscent of the days when he was a famous 
orator. 

The boy, he was the colonel's only son, was 
not yet twenty-four — a handsome fellow, tall, 
well-made and as straight as an arrow. As they 
stood there facing each other, there was some- 
thing very much alike in them. Age, experience, 
and contact with the world had hardened the 
lines about the old man's mouth, which as yet in 
the boy's, only indicated firmness. 

" Sit down, Walter," said the colonel impress- 
ively, " I have something of importance to say 
to you ; something that will probably change 
your whole life." His son had dropped into a 



SONS AND FATHEKS 33 

chair opposite to the one which his father had 
taken. His face was white with the apprehen- 
sion that would tug at his heart, but his eye was 
steady and his lips firm. 

Alexander Stewart could never quite forget 
that for two sessions he had been a speaking 
member of the Ohio legislature, and whenever he 
had anything of importance to say, he returned 
involuntarily to his forensic manner. 

" Walter, my son," he began, " we have come 
upon startling times. I have known all along 
that this crisis would come, but I had not ex- 
pected to see it in my day. It was inevitable 
that the proud spirit of the South and the blind 
arrogance of the North should some day clash. 
The clash has now come, and with it, the time 
for all strong men to take a decided stand. We 
of the South " — the boy winced at the words — 
" hold to our allegiance, though we have changed 
our homes, and this is the time for us to show 
our loyalty. The South has been insulted, her 
oldest institutions derided, and her proudest 
names dragged in the dust by men who might 
have been their owners' overseers. But she does 
not bear malice. She is not going to wage a 
war of vengeance, but a holy war for truth, jus- 
tice and right. I am going back home to help 
her." The old man's own eloquence had brought 
him to his feet in the middle of the floor, where 



34 THE FANATICS 

he stood, with eyes blazing. " Back home," he 
repeated, " and you, my son — " he held out his 
hand. 

" Father," Walter also arose ; his face was 
deadly pale. He did not take the proffered 
hand. His father gazed at him, first in amaze- 
ment, then as the truth began to reach his mind, 
a livid flush overspread his face. His hand 
dropped at his side, and his fingers clenched. 

" You," he half groaned, half growled between 
his teeth. 

" Father, listen to me." 

" There is but one thing I can listen to from 
you." 

" You can never hear that. The North is my 
home. I was born here. I was brought up to 
revere the flag. You taught me that." 

" But there is a reverence greater than that 
for any flag. There is a time when a flag loses 
its right to respect." 

" You never talked to me of any such rever- 
ence or told me of any such time, and now I 
choose to stand by the home I know." 

" This is not your home. Your home is the 
home of your family, and the blood in your veins 
is drawn from the best in the South." 

" My blood was made by the streams and in 
the meadows ; on the hills and in the valleys of 
Ohio, here, where I have played from babyhood, 



SONS AND FATHEKS 35 

and father, I can't — I can't. May we not think 
differently and be friends ? " 

" No, if you had the blood of a single Yankee 
ancestor in you, I would impute it to that and 
forgive the defection; I could understand your 
weakening at this time, but " 

"It is not weakening," Walter flashed back, 
"if anything, it is strengthening when a man 
stands up for his flag, for the only flag he has 
ever known, when it is attacked by traitors." 

" Traitors ! " the old man almost shouted the 
word as he made a step towards the boy. 

" Traitors, yes, traitors," said the son, unflinch- 
ingly. 

" You cur, you mongrel cur, neither Northern 
nor Southern ! " 

"Father " 

" Silence ! I wish the North joy of your ac- 
quisition. The South is well shed of you. You 
would have been like to turn tail and skulked in 
her direst extremity. It is well to know what 
you are from the start." 

" Let me say a word, father." 

"Don't father me. I'll father no such weak- 
kneed renegade as you are. From to-day, you 
are no son of mine. I curse you — curse you ! " 

The door opened softly and Mrs. Stewart stood 
there, transfixed, gazing at the two men. She 
was very pale for she had heard the last words. 



36 THE FANATICS 

"Husband, Walter — " she said tremulously, 
"I have intruded, bat I could not help it." 

Neither man spoke. 

" Alexander," she went on, " take back those 
words. I felt all along it would be so, but you 
and Walter can disagree with each other and yet 
be father and son. Walter, come and shake 
hands with your father." The boy took a re- 
luctant step forward, without raising his head, 
but his father drew himself up and folded his 
arms. 

" Alexander ! " 

" I have no son," he said simply. 

Walter raised his eyes and answered, " And 
I no father," and seizing his mother in his arms, 
he covered her face with kisses, and rushed from 
the room. Presently they heard the front door 
close behind him. 

" Call him back, husband, call him back, for 
God's sake. He is our son, the only one left — 
call him back ! " 

The colonel stood like a statue. Not a muscle 
of his face quivered, and his folded arms were 
like iron in their tenseness. " He has chosen his 
faith," he said. He relaxed then to receive his 
wife's faintiug form in his arms. He laid her 
gently on a couch and calling his daughter and 
the servants, went to his own room. 

It is an awful thing to have to answer to a 



SONS AJSTD FATHERS 37 

mother for her boy. To see her eyes searching 
your soul with the question in them, " Where is 
my child ? " But it is a more terrible thing to a 
father's conscience when he himself is questioner, 
accuser and culprit in one. Colonel Stewart 
walked his room alone and thought with agony 
over his position. He knew Walter's disposition. 
It was very like his own, and this was not a 
matter in which to say, "I have been hasty," 
and then allow it to pass over. How could he 
meet his wife's accusing eyes? How could he 
do without Walter ? The old man sat down and 
buried his face in his hands. The fire and en- 
thusiasm of indignation which had held him up 
during his interview with his son had left him, 
and he was only a sad, broken old man. If he 
could but stay in his room forever, away from 
everybody. 

As soon as his wife recovered from her swoon 
she sent for him. He went tremblingly and re- 
luctantly to her, fearful of what he should see in 
her eyes. The room, though, was sympathetic- 
ally darkened when he went in. He groped his 
way to the bed. A hand reached out and took 
his and a voice said, " Let us hurry, let us go 
away from here, Alexander." There was no 
anger, no reproach in the tone, only a deep, lin- 
gering sadness that tore at his heartstrings. 

" Margaret, Margaret ! " he cried, and flinging 



38 THE FANATICS 

his arms about her, held her close while sobs 
shook his frame. 

His wife patted his grey hair. " Don't cry, be- 
loved," she said, "this is war. But let us go 
away from here. Let us go away." 

"Yes, Margaret," he sobbed, "we will go 
away." 

Preparations for the departure of the Stewarts 
began immediately. Mrs. Stewart busied herself 
feverishly as one who works to drive out bitter 
thoughts. But the colonel kept to his room 
away from the scenes of activity. His trouble 
weighed heavily upon him. His enthusiasm for 
the war seemed suddenly to have turned its heat 
malignantly upon him to consume him. Except 
when circumstances demanded his presence, he 
kept away from the rest of the family, no longer 
through the mere dread of meeting them, for it 
was the spirit of his conscience to press the iron 
into his soul ; but because he felt that this was a 
trouble to be borne alone. No one could share 
it, no one could understand it. 

For several days no one outside of the house 
knew of the breach that had occurred in the 
Stewart family, nor of their intention to go 
South. Then they made the mistake of hiring 
the negro, Ed, to help them finish their 
packing. 

The servant is always curious ; the negro 



SONS AND FATHEKS 39 

servant particularly so, and to the negro the 
very atmosphere of this silent house, the con- 
strained attitude of the family were pregnant 
with mystery. Then he did not see the son 
about. It took but a little time for his curiosity 
to lead to the discovery that the son was boarding 
in the town. This, with scraps of information 
got from the other servants, he put together, and 
his imagination did the rest. Ed had a pictur- 
esque knack for lying, and the tale that resulted 
from his speculations was a fabric worthy of its 
weaver. 

According to the negro's version, the colonel, 
though long past the age for service, was going 
down South to be a general, and wanted to take 
his son, Walter, along with him to be a captain. 
Walter had refused, and he and his father had 
come to fisticuffs in which the young man was 
worsted, for Ed added admiringly by way of 
embellishment, " Do ol' cunnel is a mighty good 
man yit." After this the youug man had left 
his father's house because he thought he was too 
old to be whipped. 

This was the tale with which Ed regaled the 
people for whom he worked about Dorbury ; 
but be it said in vindication of their common 
sense that few, if any, believed it. That there 
was some color of fact in the matter they could 
not doubt when it was plainly shown that 



40 THE FANATICS 

Walter Stewart was not living at his father's 
house. There must have been a breach of some 
kind, they admitted, but Ed's picture must be re- 
duced about one-half. 

The story, however, threw young Stewart into 
an unenviable prominence. As modest as it is 
natural for a young man of twenty-three to be, 
it gave him no pleasure to have people turn 
around to look after him with an audible, 
" There he goes ! " 

At first, his feeling towards his father had been 
one, not so much of anger as of grief. But he 
had no confidant, and the grief that could not 
find an outlet hardened into a grief that sticks in 
the throat, that cannot be floated off by tears or 
blown away by curses that will not melt, that 
will not move, that becomes rebellion. It was 
all unjust. He thought of the ideas of independ- 
ence that his father had inculcated in him ; 
how he had held up to him the very strength of 
manhood which he now repudiated. How he 
had set before him the very example upon which 
he now modeled his conduct, and then abased 
it. He had built and broken his own idol, 
and the ruins lay not only about his feet, but 
about his son's. It was a hard thought in 
the boy's mind, and for a time he felt as if he 
wanted to hold his way in the world, asking of 
nothing, is it right or wrong ? leaning to no be- 



SONS AND FATHERS 41 

liefs, following no principles. This was the first 
mad rebellion of his flowering youth against the 
fading ideals, against the revelation of things as 
they are. But with the rebound, which marks 
the dividing line between youth and manhood, 
he came back to a saner view of the affair. 

It came to him for the first time that now was 
a period of general madness in which no rule of 
sane action held good. And yet, he could not 
wholly forgive his father his unnecessary harsh- 
ness. The understanding of his unmerited 
cruelty came to him, but his condemnation of it 
did not leave. Only once did he ask himself 
whether the cause for which he stood was 
worthy of all that he had sacrificed for it ; home, 
mother, comfort and a father's love. Then there 
came back to him the words his father had ut- 
tered on a memorable occasion, "Walter, prin- 
ciple is too dear to be sacrificed at any price," 
and his lips closed in a line of determination. 
Resolutely he turned his face away from that 
path of soft delight. He was no longer his 
father's son ; but he was enough of a Stewart to 
believe strongly. 

He felt sorely hurt, though, when he found 
that Ed's story, while failing to find a resting- 
place in the ears of the sensible, had percolated 
the minds of the lower classes of the town. He 
heard ominous threats hurled at the old copper- 



42 THE FANATICS 

head, which he knew to be directed at his father. 
All that lay in his power to do, he did to stem 
the tide of popular anger, but he felt it rising 
steadily, and knew that at any moment it might 
take the form of open violence or insult to his 
family. This must be avoided, he determined, 
and night after night, after he had left home, he 
patrolled the sidewalk in front of his father's 
house, and the grief-stricken mother, reaching 
out her arms and moaning for her son in her 
sleep, did not know that he was there, watching 
the low flicker of the night lamp in her room. 

It was nearly a week after the memorable 
evening interview between Walter and his father 
that the young man received by the hands of the 
gossiping Ed a note from his mother. It ran, 
" We expect to go to-morrow evening at seven. 
Will you not come and tell me good-bye?" 
Walter was brave, and he gulped hard. This 
was from his mother, and neither principle nor 
anything else separated him from her. He would 
go. He wrote, " I will come in by the side gate, 
and wait for you in the arbor." 

The evening found him there a half hour be- 
fore the time set, but a mother's fond eagerness 
had outrun the hours and Mrs. Stewart was al- 
ready there awaiting him. She embraced her 
son with tears in her eyes, and they talked long 
together. From the window of his room, Colonel 



SONS AND FATHEKS 43 

Stewart watched them. His eyes lingered over 
every outline of his son's figure. Once, he 
placed his hand on the sash as if to raise it. 
Then he checked himself and took a turn round 
the dismantled room. When he came back to 
the window, Walter was taking his leave. The 
old man saw his wife clinging about the boy's 
neck. He saw the young fellow brush his hand 
hastily across his eyes. Again, his hand went 
out involuntarily to the window, but he drew it 
back and ground it in the other while a groan 
struggled up from under the weight of his pride 
and tore itself from his pale lips. Gone, gone, 
Walter was gone, and with him, his chance of 
reconciliation. He saw his wife return, but he 
locked his door and sat down to battle with his 
pride and grief until it was time to go. 

It was a worn-looking old man that came down 
to step into the carriage an hour later. But 
Colonel Stewart never looked more the soldier. 
Walter was at a safe point of vantage, watching 
to get a last glimpse of his family. He was 
heavy of heart in spite of his bravery. But sud- 
denly, his sadness flamed into anger. A crowd 
had been gathering about his father's house, but 
he thought it only the usual throng attracted by 
curiosity. As his father stepped into the car- 
riage, he heard a sudden huzza. The people had 
surrounded the vehicle. A band appeared, and 



44 THE FANATICS 

there floated to his ears the strains of the 
Rogues' march. A red mist came before his 
eyes, but through it he could not help seeing 
that they were taking the horses from the shafts. 
He waited to see no more, but dashed down the 
street. He forgot his sorrow, he forgot the 
breach, he forgot everything but his fury. It 
was his father ; his father. 

They were drawing the carriage toward him 
now, and the band was crashing out the hateful 
music. He reached the crowd and dashed into 
it like a young bull, knocking the surprised 
rioters and musicians right and left. He was 
cursing; he was pale, and his lip was bleeding 
where he had bitten it. The music stopped. 
Those who held the shafts dropped them. They 
were too astonished by the sudden onslaught to 
move. Then a growl rose like the noise of wild 
beasts and the crowd began to surge upon the 
young man. Forward and back they swept 
him, struggling and fighting. Then the carriage 
door opened and Colonel Stewart stepped out. 
His face was the face of an angel in anger, or 
perhaps of a very noble devil. 

" Stop," he thundered, and at his voice, the 
uproar ceased. " Take up the shafts, my fellow- 
citizens," he said sneeringly, " this act is what I 
might have expected of you, but go on. It is 
meet that I should be drawn by such cattle." 



SONS AND FATHEKS 45 

Then turning to his son, he said, " Sir, I need no 
defence from you." There was a joyous cry at 
this, though it was the young man's salvation. 
Some one hurled a stone, which grazed the old 
man's head. Walter was at the coward's side in 
an instant, and had felled him to the ground. 
For an instant, something that was not contempt 
gleamed in the old man's eye, but Walter turned, 
and lifting his hat to his father, backed from the 
crowd. They took up the shafts again. The 
musicians gathered their courage, and with a 
shout they bore the colonel away to the station. 
Walter stood looking after the carriage. He 
had caught a glimpse of his mother's face from 
the window for a moment, and to the day of his 
death he never forgot the look she gave him. It 
was to be a help to him in the time of his trou- 
ble, and strength when the fight was hottest. 
His anger at his father had melted away in the 
flash of action. But he could not help wonder 
if the colonel's insult to him had been sincere, 
or only for the purpose of accomplishing what 
it did, the diversion of the crowd. He knew 
that he had been saved rough handling, and that 
his father had saved him, and he went home 
with a calmer spirit than he had known for 
many days. 

Despite the intolerance which kept Stephen 



46 THE FANATICS 

Yan Doren always at loggerheads with Bradford 
Waters, he was in reality a fairly reasonable 
man. He was as deep and ardent a partisan of 
the South as Colonel Stewart, and if he was not 
less anxious that his son should espouse her 
cause, at least he had more patience, and more 
faith to wait for his boy to turn to the right 
path. 

From the time that Robert Yan Doren was 
driven from his sweetheart's gate, there had been 
a silence between father and son as to the latter's 
intentions. But as the feverish preparations 
went on, Stephen Yan Doren grew more and 
more uneasy and excited. It was hard not to 
speak to his son and find out from him where he 
stood in regard to the questions which were agi- 
tating his fellows. But a stalwart pride held the 
old man back. There were times when he told 
himself that the boy only waited for a word from 
him. But that word he determined never to say. 
The South did not need the arm of any one who 
had to be urged to fight for her. 

The struggle and anxiety which possessed his 
father's mind was not lost on the young man, 
and he sympathized with the trouble, while he 
respected the fine courtly breeding which com- 
pelled silence under it. As for himself, he must 
have more time to think. This was no light 
question which he was now called upon to decide. 



SONS AND FATHERS 47 

The times were asking of every American in his 
position, " Are you an American or a Southerner 
first ? " The answer did not hang ready upon 
his lips. Where foes from without assailed, it 
was the country, the whole country. Could 
there arise any internal conditions that would 
make it different ? 

Finally, he could not stand the pained question 
in his father's eyes any longer. A word would 
let him know that, at least, his son was thinking 
of the matter which agitated him. 

" Father," he said, " you are worrying about 
me." 

The old man looked up proudly, "You are 
mistaken," was the reply, "I have no need to 
worry about my son. He is a man." 

Robert gave his father a grateful glance, 
and went on, " You are right, you need not 
worry. I am looking for the right. When I 
find it, you may depend upon me to go that 
way." 

" I am sure of it, Bob ! " exclaimed the old 
man, grasping his son's hand, " I am sure you 
will. You are a man and must judge for your- 
self. I have confidence in you, Bob." 

" Thank you, father." 

They pressed each other's hands warmly, the 
cloud cleared from Yan Doren's brow and the 
subject was dropped between the two. 



48 THE FANATICS 

Between Tom Waters and his father from the 
very first, there had been only harmony. There 
was a brief period of silence between them when 
Bradford Waters first fully realized that his age 
put him hopelessly beyond the chance of being 
beside his son in the ranks. At the first intima- 
tion that he was too old, he had scouted the 
idea, and said that it often took a grey head 
to manage a strong arm rightly. But when he 
saw the full quota of militia made up and his 
application denied, it filled him with poignant 
grief. 

" I had so hoped to be by your side, Tom, in 
this fight," he said. 

" It's best, father, as it is, though, for there's 
Mary to be taken care of." 

" Yes, the fever in our blood makes us forget 
the nearest and dearest nowadays, but I'm glad 
that you will be there to represent me any- 
way." 

From that time all the enthusiasm which 
Waters had felt in the Northern cause was cen- 
tred upon his son. He watched him on the pa- 
rade ground with undisguised pride, and when 
Tom came home in the glory of his new uniform, 
with the straps upon his square shoulders, Brad- 
ford Waters' voice was husky, and there was a 
moisture in his eyes as he said, " I'm glad now 
that it's you who are going, Tom, for I under- 



SONS AND FATHEES 49 

stand what a poor figure I must have made among 
you young fellows." 

The son was too joyous to be much affected by 
the sadness in his father's tone, and he only 
laughed as he replied, " I tell you, father, those 
steel muscles of yours would have put many a 
young fellow to the blush when it came to 
endurance." 

" Well, it isn't my chance. You're the soldier." 

The young fellow would have felt a pardonable 
pride could he have known that his father was 
saying over and over again, " Lieutenant Thomas 
Waters, Lieutenant Thomas Waters, why not 
captain or colonel ? " And his pride would have 
been tempered could he have known also that 
back of this exclamation was the question, " Will 
he come back to me ? " 

For so long a time had Bradford Waters been 
both father and mother to his son that he had 
come to have some of the qualities of both 
parents. And if it were true, as Mary said, that 
in this war the women's hearts would suffer 
most, then must he suffer doubly. With the 
woman's heart of the mother and the man's heart 
of the father, the ache had already begun for the 
struggle was on between the tenderness of the 
one and the pride of the other ; between the 
mother's love and the father's ambition. At the 
barracks, or on the parade ground, in the blare 



50 THE FANATICS 

of the trumpets where Lieutenant Waters strode 
back and forth, ambition conquered. But in the 
long still nights when his boy Tom was in his 
thoughts and dreams, only love and tenderness 
held him. 



CHAPTEK V 

"the pomp and cikcumstance" 

The shifting scenes in the panorama of the 
opening war brought about the day of departure. 
The company to which Tom Waters belonged 
was to leave on an afternoon train for Columbus, 
and Dorbury was alert to see them off ; friend 
and foe swayed by the same excitement. The 
town took on the appearance and spirit of a gala 
day. The streets were full of sight-seers, pedes- 
trians, riders and drivers, for the event had 
brought in the farmers from surrounding town- 
ships. Here and there, the blue of a uniform 
showed among the crowd and some soldier made 
his way proudly, the centre of an admiring 
crowd. A troop of little boys fired by the en- 
thusiasm of their elders marched to and fro to 
the doubtful tune of a shrill fife and an asthmatic 
drum. People who lived a long distance away, 
and who consequently had been compelled to 
start long before sunrise, now lolled lazily 
around, munching ginger-bread, or sat more de- 

51 



52 THE FANATICS 

corously in the public square, eating their de- 
layed breakfasts. 

About the barracks, which were the quarters 
of the militia, was gathered a heterogeneous 
crowd. Within, there was the sound of steady 
tramping, as the sentinels moved back and forth 
over their beats. Their brothers without, were 
doing a more practical duty, for it took all the 
bravery of their bristling bayonets to keep back 
the curious. There was a stir among them like 
the rippling of the sea by the wind when a young 
man in the uniform of a private of the Light 
Guards hastened up and elbowed his way towards 
the door. There was a buzz, a single shout, and 
then a burst of cheers, as the young man, flushed 
and hot, leaped up the steps and entered the 
door. Some who had been his enemies were in 
the crowd ; some who had laid violent hands on 
him only a few days before, but they were all 
his friends now. It was Walter Stewart. He 
had followed the leadings of his own mind and 
stayed with his company; but somehow the ap- 
plause of these people who were all his father's 
enemies, was very bitter to him. 

After Stewart, came a figure that elicited a 
shout from the throng, and a burst of laughter. 
It was the town crier, Negro Ed, who was to go 
as servant to the militia captain, Horace Miller. 

"Hi, Ed," called one, "ain't you afraid they'll 



"POMP AND CIECUMSTAlSrCE " 53 

get you and make you a slave?" and "Don't 
forget to stop at Dorbury when you get to run- 
ning ! " 

Ed was usually good-natured, and met such 
sallies with a grin, but a new cap and a soldier's 
belt had had their effect on him, and he marched 
among his deriders, very stern, dignified and 
erect, as if the arduous duties of the camp were 
already telling upon him. The only reply he 
vouchsafed was "JSTemmine, you people, nem- 
mine. You got to git somebody else to ring yo' 
ol' bell now." The crowd laughed. There came 
a time when they wept at thought of that black 
buffoon ; the town nigger, the town drunkard, 
when in the hospital and by deathbeds his touch 
was as the touch of a mother; when over a 
blood-swept field, he bore a woman's dearest and 
nursed him back to a broken life. But no more 
of that. The telling of it must be left to a time 
when he who says aught of a negro's virtues will 
not be cried down as an advocate drunk with 
prejudice. 

To the listeners outside the barracks came the 
noise of grounding arms, and the talk of men re- 
lieved from duty. They were to go to their 
homes until time to form in the afternoon. The 
authorities were considerate. If men must go 
to war, good-byes must be said, women must 
weep and children cling to their fathers. The 



54 THE FANATICS 

last sad meal must be taken. The net of specu- 
lation must be thrown out to catch whatever 
motes of doubt the wind of war may blow, and 
the questions must fly, "Will he come back? 
Shall I see him again ? " 

Yes, women must weep. In spite of all the 
glory of war they will cling to the neck of the 
departing husband, brother or son. Poor foolish 
creatures ; they have no eye then for the brave 
array, the prancing charger and the gleaming 
arms. They have no ear for the inspiring fife 
and drum. 

The men were soberer than they had yet been 
when they filed out of the barracks. At last, 
the reality of things was coming home to them. 
It was all very well, this drilling on the common 
in the eyes of the town, but now for the result 
of their drills. 

Midway among them came Tom and Walter 
side by side, lieutenant and private ; they had not 
yet come to feel the difference in their positions. 

" Well, we'll be on the way in a few hours," 
said Walter as they passed out beyond the bor- 
ders of the crowd, " and I'm glad of it." 

" I'm glad, too, now that we're in it, Walt, and 
I'm glad to be in it myself. But it means a 
whole lot, doesn't it ? " 

" Of course, you're leaving your family," re- 
plied Walter tentatively. 



"POMP AND CIKCUMSTANCE " 55 

" More than that." 

Both young men smiled, Walter a little bit 
sheepishly. He had been Tom's rival for Nannie 
Wood's affections, and had taken defeat at his 
hands. 

" Oh," pursued Tom, " if the fight is going to 
be as short as many people think, a mere brush, 
in fact, we shan't be gone long — but " 

" The people who think this is going to be a 
mere brush don't know the temper of the South." 

" I believe you. There'll be a good many of 
us who won't come back." 

" Oh, well, it's one time or another," and Wal- 
ter smiled again as they came to the corner, and 
Tom turned up the street towards Nannie's house. 
" So long." 

" So long, until this afternoon," and then the 
young lieutenant found himself staring straight 
into the eyes of Eobert Van Doren. For a mo- 
ment the feeling of antagonism which had 
shown in his conversation with Mary, surged over 
him, but in the next, he remembered his promise. 
He held out his hand. 

" Hello, Bob," he said, " I guess it's hello and 
good-bye together." 

Bob grasped his hand warmly. "Well, I 
reckon nobody'll be gladder to say how-dye-do to 
you again than I, Tom. Good luck." 

"Thanks, Bob." 



56 THE FANATICS 

" Give my regards to Mary." 

"I will." Tom started on. Suddenly he 
turned and found Van Doren watching him with 
a strange expression on his face. He went back 
and impulsively seized the other's hand. " Say* 
Bob, what's what ? " 

The blood went out of Yan Doren's face. 
" God knows," he said in a pained voice, " that's 
just what I've been asking myself, and I don't 
know yet, Tom." 

The young man paused ashamed of this show 
of feeling, then he said, "Well, anyway, Bob, 
good luck," and they went their ways. 

In his heart, Tom believed that Robert Yan 
Doren would eventually go to the Confederacy, 
and he resented what to him seemed flagrant dis- 
loyalty. Ohio was Yan Doren's adopted home, 
and a tender mother she had been to him. Out 
of her bounty she had given him well. Now to 
go over to her enemies ! The fight in Tom's mind 
as to his manner of meeting Yan Doren had been 
brief but sharp. The result was less the outcome 
of generosity than the result of a subtle selfish- 
ness. It was, as all putting one's self in another's 
place is, the sacrifice which we make to the gods 
of our own desires, the concession we make to 
our weakness. He forgave Robert, not because 
Mary loved and was about to lose him, but be- 
cause he, himself, loved Nannie, and for a time, 



" POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE " 57 

at least, was about to lose her. The grasp which 
he gave Bob's hand meant pity for himself as 
well as for his sister. 

There was a flash of pride on Nannie's face, 
though tears stood in her eyes as she saw her 
lover approaching. She had been expecting him 
and was at the gate. The soft April sunshine 
was playing on her gold-brown hair, and in her 
simple pink dimity gown she looked akin to the 
morning glories that blossomed about her. She 
opened the gate and took the young man's hand, 
and together t,hey passed around the side of the 
house, to a rustic bench among the verbenas and 
sweet williams. 

There was a simplicity and frankness about 
Nannie's love that was almost primitive. It was 
so natural, so spontaneous, so unashamed. It 
looked you as squarely in the face as did her co- 
quetry. But there was no sign of coquetry now. 
Gone were all her whims and quips, her airs and 
graces. There had come into her life the trans- 
muting element that suddenly makes a maid 
a woman. 

For a time the two sat in silence on her flower- 
surrounded bench. Tom, afraid to trust his voice, 
and Nannie finding a certain satisfaction in 
merely pressing the hand she held. 

Finally, he broke silence. " Well, the time is 
about here, Nannie." 



58 THE FANATICS 

"Yes," she replied, drawing his hand closer 
and caressing it, " you — you're glad, of course ? " 

" Glad ? Well, that's a hard question. I'm 
glad, of course, but — but " — he struggled to grasp 
the elusive idea that was floating in his brain — 
" but there is more than one kind of being glad. 
I am glad, to be sure, as a citizen, and I'm sorry 
as a man " 

" You're sorry because ~" 

" You know why, little girl, I'm sorry to leave 
you. I'm sorry to take any chance of never being 
able to call you wife. It may be cowardly, but 
at such a time, the thought is forced irresistibly 
upon a man." 

" It isn't cowardly, Tom, it isn't. It's manly, 
I know it is, because you're thinking about me. 
Oh, but I shall miss you when you are gone. 
But I'll pray for you, and I'll try to be as 
brave up here as you are down there. You 
are wrong, Tom, you are very brave, braver 
than the men who do not think to sorrow for 
the women, but go rushing into this war with 
a blind enthusiasm that will not let them feel. 
You're brave, you're brave, and I'm going to 
be, but I can't help it ! " He caught her in his 
arms, and strained the weeping face to his 
breast. 

" Darling, darling, my brave little girl, don't 
cry." A man is so helpless, so wordless in these 



"POMP AND CIKCUMST ANCE " 59 

times. He can do nothing but stammer and ex- 
claim and lavish caresses. 

After the first gust of weeping was over, she 
raised her tear-stained face, and said with a rainy 
smile, " I want you to understand, Tom, I'm not 
crying all for grief. It's just as much pride as it 
is sorrow. Oh, I've been spoiling your uniform." 
There was somewhat of a return of her old co- 
quetry of manner, and her lover was unspeakably 
cheered. He had felt in that brief moment of 
passion as he had never felt before ; how near 
the ocean of tears lay to the outer air and how 
strong was their surge against the barriers of 
manhood. But her change of manner gave him 
the courage to say the tender good-bye — the fare- 
well too sacred to be spied upon. Ah, how his 
heart ached within him. How his throat swelled, 
and she smiled and smiled, though her eyes grew 
moist again. And he went on inspired by the 
heroism of a woman's smile, the smile she gives 
even when she sends her dear ones forth to face 
death. 

He bade good-bye to Nannie's family, and went 
home to a sad meal and a repetition of his leave- 
takings. 

The sister hardly succeeded as well as the 
sweetheart in hiding her emotions. Her heart 
was already heavy, and she wept, not only at the 
fear of death, but with the pain of love. At the 



60 THE FANATICS 

very last, when he was going to take his place 
in the ranks, she broke down, and clung sobbing 
to her brother. Tom gulped, and the father, 
wringing his son's hands, took away her arms 
and comforted her as best he could. His eyes 
were bright and hard with the stress of the fight 
he was having with his feelings, but his voice 
was firm. Bradford Waters showed the mettle 
of his pasture. A New Englander, born and 
reared in that section of the country which has 
produced the most and the least emotional peo- 
ple, men the most conservative and the most 
radical ; the wisest philosophers and the wildest 
fanatics, he did not disgrace his breeding. 

It was easier for Tom, when he was once 
more in the ranks. Then he felt again the in- 
fectious spirit of enthusiasm which swayed his 
comrades. His heart beat with the drums. He 
heard the people cheering as they went down the 
street. Handkerchiefs were waving from win- 
dows and balconies, and there was a following 
that half walked, half trotted to keep up with 
the swinging stride of the soldiers. The train 
that was to bear them away stood puffing in the 
station. They crowded on. Here and there, a 
man dropped into his seat and buried his head in 
his hands, but most of the heads were out of the 
windows nodding good-byes. There was an air 
of forced gayety over it all. Young fellows with 



"POMP AND CIKCUMSTANCE " 61 

flushed cheeks laughed hard laughs, and bit their 
lips the moment after. It was as if no one 
wanted to think and yet thought would come. 
Children were held up to be kissed, their mothers 
weeping openly as is a mother's right. Fathers 
would start a reassuring sentence, and suddenly 
break off to laugh brokenly, short skeleton laughs 
that were sadder than tears. Then the bell gave 
warning and with a last rousing shout, they were 
off for the state capital and the chances of war. 

Tom caught the last glimpse of the family and 
Nannie as they stood together on the platform. 
They were waving to him and he waved back. 
Nannie and Mary stood with clasped hands 
watching the long line of cars. On the former's 
face there was sorrow and pride ; sorrow for her 
lover, pride for her soldier ; but with the latter 
was only grief, for she could not be thoroughly 
loyal to her brother without feeling disloyalty to 
her lover. Bradford Waters walked with the 
crowd, but the two girls stood still, until they 
heard the train whistle and slacken speed as it 
crossed the railroad bridge, then they turned and 
walked back to the town. A few moments be- 
fore the place had been all movement and life ; 
now it was left to silence and tears. 



CHAPTEE VI 

A LONE FIGHT 

There was one man whom the moving glory 
of the departing troops filled with no elation. 
From a distant point, Bob Yan Doren saw the 
blue lines swinging down the streets of Dor bury, 
and heard the shriek of the fifes. But there was 
in him no inclination to join in the shouting or to 
follow the admiring crowd. He was possessed 
neither by the joyous nor the sorrowing interest 
of the citizen, nor yet by the cowardly shame of 
the stay-at-home. While he could not go as far 
as his father and stay within the closed and 
shuttered house, yet he felt that he was not a 
part of the flag-flying, drum-beating throng. 
Many of the young fellows there were his friends 
who had eaten and drunk with him. They 
had laughed and sported together both as men 
and boys. But now, suddenly, it seemed that 
something had arisen to make them entirely dif- 
ferent, and to put him as far apart from them 
and their sympathies as if they had been born at 

62 



A LONE FIGHT 63 

opposite poles. What was this impalpable some- 
thing ? he asked himself. Was it in him, in them 
or outside and beyond them both ? Or to get at 
the bottom of things, did it really exist ? Their 
training and his had been very much the same. 
They had gone to the same schools, read the 
same books and adored the same heroes. What, 
then, was the subtle element that had entered 
into life to divide them? 

These were the questions he was asking him- 
self as he heard the farewell shouts of the depart- 
ing troops and the clanging of the train bell. 
Then he turned and with his mind full of harass- 
ing inquiries took his way home. 

" Well, they're off to help rob the South of its 
niggers, are they ? " said his father. 

" They are gone," replied Kobert laconically. 
He was not in the mood to talk. 

" Humph, Southern buzzards will be the fatter 
for them." 

"Don't, father, that's horrible. There are a 
good many of the fellows we both knew and 
liked among them." 

Stephen Yan Doren flashed a quick suspicious 
glance at his son as he remarked, " So much the 
worse for them." 

" I wish it might have been settled some other 
way," pursued Eobert drearily, " I'd rather have 
let the South secede than institute this orgie of 



64 THE FANATICS 

unnatural bloodshed, brother against brother, 
friend against friend." 

Again his father flashed that white question- 
ing look at him. Then he rose abruptly and left 
the room. Robert hardly noticed the movement, 
so absorbed was he in his own thoughts, but sat 
staring blankly before him. He was momen- 
tarily aroused from his reverie by the reentrance 
of his father, who laid an old miniature upon the 
table before him, and went out again without a 
word. Robert picked up the picture. It was 
the portrait of a beautiful young woman painted 
in the style of forty years before — his mother — 
and her name was written on a piece of yellow 
paper stuck in the frame, " Virginia Nelson, Fair- 
fax Courthouse, Virginia. " He gazed at the 
picture and read and re-read the inscription, 
" Fairfax Courthouse." What a quaint old- 
fashioned, southern sound it had. It seemed red- 
olent of magnolias and jessamine and soft as 
the speech of its own citizens. But was that 
home, or this, the place where his youth and 
early manhood had been passed? Which was 
home, the place of memories or the place of 
action ? What makes home ; dreams or labor ; 
the hopes of boyhood or the hard reality of later 
life? 

To young Van Doren, the memory of his 
mother, who had lived only two years after com- 



A LONE FIGHT 65 

ing North, had been as a guiding star and he 
knew that it was to recall this that his father had 
brought him the picture. It was apparent that 
he must have been strongly moved, for that little 
worn and faded miniature seldom left the old 
man's desk. His father felt deeply ; so did he. 
His mother's eyes were pleading with him. 
Sentiment, said his mind ; truth, said his heart. 

Finally, he laid the picture face downward on 
the table. He told himself it must not enter 
into his thoughts at all. But his mind would not 
let it go. Eel-like, his consciousness wrapped 
itself about it and would not let it go. He felt 
guilty when the thought assailed him that per- 
haps the face of another woman which was 
graven on his heart, argued more strongly than 
the pictured one. " Mary, Mary," his heart said, 
" is my love for you blinding me to right and 
justice ? While other men decide and do, I 
stand still here waiting and asking what to do." 
He thought of Walter Stewart and the apparent 
ease with which he had made a hard decision, 
and his anger flashed up against his own impo- 
tence ; but still his inclination wavered weakly 
back and forth. The Union, the Confederacy; 
the place of his boyhood and the home of his 
manhood. 

At last, he asked himself the question which 
he had so long shunned, What he believed ? and 



66 THE FANATICS 

he was compelled to answer that his convictions 
leaned to the side of those who were in arms 
against the general government. Then there 
was but one thing to do. He stood up, very pale 
and sad of countenance, trembling on the verge 
of a decision. But suddenly as out of nowhere, 
a voice seemed to sound into his very being, 
" Has love no right ? " " Good God," he cried 
aloud, " shall I go on this way, forever waver- 
ing ? Shall I go on being a coward, I who hate 
cowardice ? " His heart was burning with pain, 
misery and anger and shame at himself, and yet 
he could not, he dared not say where he stood. 
The fact that he tried to fight out of recognition, 
and herein lay his greatest cowardice, was that 
he did not feel the Southern cause deeply enough 
to risk losing the woman he loved by its espousal ; 
nor could he leap open-eyed into the Northern 
movement, for which he had no sympathy. Had 
he felt either as deeply as did Bradford Waters 
or his own father, he would not have hesitated 
where to take his place. 

The struggle in his mind had not just begun. 
From the very moment that the atmosphere had 
become electric with the currents of opposing 
beliefs, he had felt himself drawn into the cir- 
cuit. But, by nature, always inexpressive, he 
had said nothing, and left those who thought of 
him to the conviction that he was unmoved by 



A LONE FIGHT 67 

passing events. But the lone nights and the grey 
dawns knew better. Many a time had he gone 
to bed after a period of earnest, self-searching, 
satisfied at last, and saying, " It is true, I shall 
take my stand," only to wake and find that 
everything was changed in the light of day. 
Many a time had morning found him in his chair 
where he had sat all night, trying to wrench 
order out of the chaos of his mind. And now, 
now, it was no better. 

There was a step in the hall, and his father 
looked in on him for a moment and passed on. 
Robert knew that he was going through an 
ordeal no less terrible than his own, and he 
wished that it might be ended, even if it brought 
strife and separation between them as it had 
done between Walter Stewart and his father. 
The thought had hardly left his brain when it 
was occupied by another. Was he to be watched 
like a child who was likely to get into mischief ? 
This was too much, too much. He had borne 
with his father as long as he could. Eow he 
would show him that he was his own master, to 
go his own way. Anyway, it was his concern 
alone. With whichever side he went, he must be 
shot for himself. If he stayed at home, it was 
he who must bear the sneers and jokes, who must 
live down the contumely. Whose right was it, 
then, to institute an annoying surveillance over 



68 THE FANATICS 

him ? Not even his father's. It had come to a 
pretty pass when a man might not think without 
interruption. Bah, he could not call his soul his 
own. It was only the sign of his nervous condi- 
tion that he should fall into this state of petu- 
lant anger. 

Then unaccountably, his whole mental atti- 
tude changed, and the appearance of his father's 
questioning face in the door, struck him only 
with a ludicrous aspect. He thought of himself 
as some coquettish but wavering maiden who 
bade her lover wait outside until she could an- 
swer the momentous question, yes or no, and he 
burst out laughing. 

But his mirth was short and unnatural. 

" I am either a fool or a brute," he said, " I 
know that father and Mary are both watching 
me, but they have a right to watch and they 
have the right to demand from me the answer in 
their hearts." 

He paused as if a new thought had struck him. 
Then he rose and took his hat. " I'll do it," he 
exclaimed passionately, " I'll go to her and let 
her help me. Why haven't I thought of it be- 
fore ? " He passed out and called to his father 
as he went, " I'm going out for a while, father." 

" All right," was the answer, but the words 
that followed solemnly were, " The boy is driven 
out into the street, even as the men possessed of 



A LONE FIGHT 69 

devils spirit were driven to the rocks and the 
tombs. It is the evil spirit of Northern narrow- 
ness working in him." 

It was with a heart somewhat lightened by the 
hope of relief that Kobert Yan Doren hastened 
along the street towards the Waters' home. So 
much had passed in the days since he had last 
stood at the gate that the little difference be- 
tween him and the father of the woman he loved 
appeared as a very small thing. "When two great 
sections of a nation are arrayed against each 
other, there is no time for the harboring of petty 
angers. Two thoughts held him. He would see 
Mary again. She would help him, and his honor 
should come to its own. These thoughts left no 
room in his mind for malice. 

No misgiving touched him even when he stood 
at the door and his knock brought Mary to the 
door. She looked at him with a frightened face, 
and turned involuntarily to glance at her father 
who sat within. 

" Is anything the matter ? " she said in a low, 
hurried voice. 

" Nothing, only I want your advice and help," 
said Yan Doren, stepping across the threshold. 

At the voice and step, Bradford Waters rose 
and faced the visitor, and his face began working 
with growing anger. "What do you mean by 
invading my house, again, Robert Yan Doren ? " 



10 THE FANATICS 

" I came to see Mary." 

Waters took his daughter by the hand as if he 
would put himself between the girl and her lover. 
" Mary can have no dealings with you or your 
kind. We do not want you here. I have told 
you that before. Your way and ours lie apart." 

" They have not always lain apart and need 
not now." Yan Doren's surprise was stronger 
than his resentment as he looked into the old 
man's passionate face. Could a few days work 
such a change in a man ? 

" They must and shall lie apart," Waters took 
him up hotly. " What you have been to this fam- 
ily, you cannot be again." 

" What have I done to forfeit your respect ? " 

" It isn't what you've done, but what you 
are." 

" How do you know what I am ? " 

"That's it. At least, your father has the 
courage to come out and say what he is. You 
haven't. At least, he is a man " 

" Father, father," cried Mary, " don't say any 
more ! " 

" I'm sorry to see a daughter of mine," said 
Waters, turning upon her, " pleading for one of 
those whom her brother has gone South to kill." 
The girl put her hands up quickly as if she would 
check the words upon her father's lips. Yan 
Doren had turned very white. He stood as one 



A LONE FIGHT 71 

stunned. All his hopes of help had been sud- 
denly checked, and instead of sympathy, he 
had received hard words. But a smile curved 
his lips. 

" Have I not said enough, Eobert Yan 
Doren ? " 

" Yes," was the reply, still with a quiet smile, 
" you have said enough," and he turned towards 
the door. 

Mary sprang away from her father. " Eobert, 
Eobert, don't go," she cried, "he doesn't mean it. 
This great trouble has made him mad." Brad- 
ford Waters started to speak but stopped as the 
young man put off the girl's detaining hand. 
" I must go, Mary," he said, " your father is 
right. We have come to the parting of the ways. 
I have not had the courage to say where I stood, 
but I have it now. I came for help to decide a 
momentous question. I have got it. Good-bye, 
Mary, good-bye — Mr. Waters, the Confederacy 
may thank you for another recruit." 

He opened the door and passed out, the old 
man's voice ringing after him, " Better an open 
rebel than a copperhead." A hard look came 
into the girl's eyes. 

" You needn't worry," said her father, " it's 
good riddance." She made no reply. 

In spite of all that passed, Eobert Yan Doren 
went home in a lighter frame of mind. 



72 THE FANATICS 

" I'm going to leave to-morrow," he said to his 
father. 

" You have made your choice ? " 

" The South needs me," returned the young 
man evasively. His father came to him and 
kissed him on both cheeks. Then he took the 
miniature from the table and placed it on his 
breast. 

"I knew that your mother would not plead 
with you in vain," he said, and Kobert smiled 
bitterly. 



CHAPTER VII 

DIVIDED HOUSES 

Theee is a tragic quietness about a town 
whose best and bravest have gone to a doubtful 
battlefield. The whole place seems hushed and 
on tiptoe as if listening for some sound from the 
field. The cry of a cricket shivers the silenee 
into splinters of sound, and each one pierces the 
ear with a sharpness which is almost pain. It 
was under such a pall of stillness that Dorbury 
lay immediately after the departure of the troops. 
It was not altogether the torpor that succeeds an 
upheaval. Part of it was the breathless silence 
of expectancy, as when from a height some one 
hurls a boulder into space and waits to hear it 
fall. Of course, it would be some time before 
they could expect to hear from the new soldiers, 
and yet, Dorbury listened, expectant hand to ear. 

The spring sunshine, not yet strong nor violent 
enough to destroy its own sweetness, fell with a 
golden caress on the quiet streets. To some, 
who went to and fro, bowed with anxiety, it 
seemed strange that in such a time, nature should 

73 



74 THE FANATICS 

go on performing her processes as she had always 
done. Their hearts seemed to stand still, but 
time went on, the flowers bloomed, the grasses 
sprung and the restless river sang to the silent 
town. 

The tension of suspense had told greatly upon 
Bradford Waters' character. From being a gen- 
tle father, he had grown to be short, almost harsh 
to Mary. His love and fear for his soldier son 
had made him blind to the pain his daughter 
suffered. 

He was so far gone in the earnestness of his 
views that he could see nothing but a perverse 
disloyalty in his daughter's feeling towards 
Eobert Van Doren. His friendship for the 
young fellow had changed with the changing 
of the times, and he could not understand that a 
woman's love may be stronger than her politics ; 
her heart truer to its affections than her head to 
its principles. 

It can hardly be said of Mary that she felt 
more than she thought, but her emotions were 
stronger than her convictions. It was the worse 
for her state of mind that for two widely differ, 
ent reasons, the taking of her brother and the 
estrangement from her lover, she was placed in 
a resentful position against the cause that she 
naturally would have espoused. 

Still, at first, she kept a certain appearance of 



DIVIDED HOUSES 75 

loyalty, and when some of the girls with impet- 
uous enthusiasm, started a sewing circle for the 
soldiers, she joined with them, and began to ply 
her needle in the interest of the Union troops. 
But among these friends of undivided interests, 
it was not always pleasant for Mary. All about 
her, she heard sentiments that did not comport 
with the feelings of one who had loved ones on 
both sides of the great question. Over the lint 
and flannels that passed through the sewers' 
hands, were made several hot and thoughtless 
speeches that seared the very soul of one poor 
girl. They were not intentional. Most of them, 
had they known that one among them suffered 
from their unthinking remarks, would have held 
their tongues. Others, not more than one or 
two, be it said, knew that every sneer they cast 
at the army of the South, every hard wish they 
expressed, tore like an arrow through the tender 
heart of the pale sad girl in the corner who bent 
so silently over her work. 

" I do wish," said little Martha Blake one day, 
" that the whole Southern army was drowned in 
the depths of the sea. They are so troublesome." 

" What would their sisters do ? " asked Mary 
quietly. 

" Oh, really, they seem such monsters to me 
that I never thought of their having sisters." 

Mary smiled. " And yet they have," she said, 



76 THE FANATICS 

" some of them, perhaps, making just as foolish a 
wish about our brothers as you have made about 
them." 

" I know it's foolish," Martha pursued, " but it 
has never seemed to me that those people down 
there who have done so much to tempt the 
Northern government are quite the same as we 
are." 

Unconsciously, Mary took the defensive and 
stepped over into the point of view of the man 
whom in her heart she was defending. 

"But why," she exclaimed, "do you say the 
Northern government ? The very mention of 
the word denies the principle for which we claim 
we are fighting — that there is no North, no 
South, but one country inseparable into sec- 
tions." 

" I had never thought of that," said Martha. 

" I don't think any of us have thought of it," 
put in Anice Crowder, " except those who have 
very dear friends among the traitors." 

Mary turned deadly pale for she knew that 
Bob Van Doren's decision had just become gen- 
erally known. She turned a pair of flashing eyes 
on Anice as she replied, 

" No man is a traitor who fights for what he 
believes to be right." 

" Any man is a traitor who lives under one 
flag and leaves it to fight under another." 



DIVIDED HOUSES 77 

" A man is accountable only to his conscience 
and his God." 

"Yes, when he has proved traitor to every 
other tie, only then." 

The words cut Mary like a knife. She rose, 
work in hand and stood quivering with passion 
as she looked down on her insulter. 

" Then the woman who cares for such a man, 
who dares stand up for him is a traitor too ? " 
she cried as she flung her work to the floor. 

" Yes," said Anice acidly. 

Mary started towards the door, but a chorus of 
girls' voices checked her. 

" Don't go, Mary," they cried, " we know, we 
don't blame you." But the girl's heart was 
overburdened, and bursting into tears, she fled 
from the room. She heard the hubbub of voices 
as she went hastily out of the house, and even 
in that moment of grief she was glad that some 
of the girls there would be quick to defend her. 
She knew who must have been foremost in this 
defence when she heard a light step behind 
her and felt Nannie Woods' arm about her 
waist. 

"Don't cry, Mary," said Nannie soothingly. 
" ~No one minds Anice Crowder or anything she 
says. Anyway, I gave her a good piece of my 
mind before I left there, and so did some of the 
rest of the girls. I just told her right to her 



78 THE FANATICS 

face that she'd have more feeling for people if 
she had a lover on either side." 

Mary was forced to smile a little at her friend's 
impetuosity. But from her heart she thanked 
the girl, and drew her arm tighter about her 
waist. 

" I suppose Anice thinks that I can send my 
love where I will, and that I am to blame if it 
does not go in the right, or what she thinks, the 
right direction." 

" She's a cat," was the emphatic rejoinder, 
"and I for one, will never go to their old sewing- 
circle. We'll sew together, just you and I, Mary, 
and while I'm making things for Tom, there's no 
reason why you shouldn't make a keepsake for 
Bob to take with him." 

Mary gasped. 

" Oh, that's all right, I know if I lived down 
South and it was Tom, I'd " 

"Hush, Nannie," said Mary hurriedly, "you 
mustn't say those things." 

" I will say them and I don't care." 

They reached the Waters' gate and the girls 
parted. There, for Nannie, the incident closed, 
but it was destined to cause Mary Waters even 
more suffering. 

Women's sewing circles are not usually noted 
for their reticence, and the institution at Dorbury 
was no exception. Within an hour after it hap- 



DIVIDED HOUSES 79 

pened, the whole affair was out to the town, and 
the story in a highly embellished form reached 
Bradford Waters' ears. 

He went home in a white passion. Mary had 
got supper and was sitting idly by the window 
when her father burst into the room. She looked 
up and saw on the instant that he had heard. 

"What is this I hear of you at the sewing- 
circle ? " 

" I suppose you have heard the truth or part 
of it." 

" So it has come to the pass where my daughter 
must defend a former copperhead and now an 
avowed rebel ! " 

"The man whom I defended, if defence it 
could be called, was to me neither copperhead 
nor rebel. He was my lover. I have nothing 
to do with his politics. The war has nothing to 
do with my love." 

She was calmer than usual, and her very quiet- 
ness exasperated her father the more. 

" I'll have no more of it," he cried passionately, 
" I'll have no more of it. Love or no love, a 
house divided against itself cannot stand. My 
house must be with me. And if my daughter 
feels called upon to go over to the enemy's side, 
she must go over to the enemy's house. My 
house shall not shelter her." 

"Father " 



80 THE FANATICS 

"Enough, I have said my say. You must 
abide by it. I'll have no more such stories as I 
have heard to-day poured into my ears. Either 
give up that renegade or take your love for him 
to another roof." 

He flung himself petulantly into a chair and 
fell to his supper. Mary did not answer him, 
only a look of hard defiance came into her gentle 
eyes. It might have struck Bradford Waters 
had he seen it, but he did not look at her again. 

A little kindness might have done much to 
soften the rigor of Mary's feelings, and so 
changed the course of events ; for she was easily 
swayed through her affections. She would not 
have given up Yan Doren, his hold upon her was 
too strong. But she would have repressed her- 
self even to the hiding of her feelings, had she 
not been driven into the open revolt to which 
her father's harsh treatment goaded her. Now 
the determination to be true to her lover at all 
hazards came upon her so strongly that her atti- 
tude really became one of aggression. 

It was now that the remembrance of Nannie's 
thoughtless words came to her, and she asked 
herself, " Why not ? " Why should she not 
make and give Yan Doren a keepsake to take 
into the ranks with him ? She had suffered sor- 
row for his sake ; in effect, she had been forcibly, 
almost involuntarily, cast on his side. She had 



DIVIDED HOUSES 81 

to withstand contempt and reviling. Would this 
one show of affection be so much more ? 

That evening, Mary was very busy sewing, 
and so part of the next day, until the time when 
her father came home. Then she hastened to 
leave her stitching to go about her supper, for in 
the absorption of her new idea, she had neg- 
lected it. 

Bradford Waters looked at the work which 
had stood between him and his meals with an 
ill-concealed exasperation. Why couldn't women 
sew at the proper time and leave off properly ? 
Maybe, though, it was something for her brother 
Tom. If that were so, he did not care. He 
would go without his meals any time, that Tom 
might have a single comfort. Bless the brave 
boy. His face softened, and he looked with fill- 
ing eyes as his mind dwelt on tender memories 
of the soldier son. Suddenly the bit of em- 
broidery there on the shelf seemed to take on a 
new interest for him. 

Mary was crossing the floor with a plate in her 
hand, when he rose and going to the shelf, picked 
up the work. She made an involuntary motion 
as if to stop him and take it away, then she 
paused rigid. 

He stood smiling down on the sewing. " Some- 
thing for Tom," he began, and then the smile 
froze and the words died on his lips as he turned 



82 THE FANATICS 

it over. It was only a little maroon housewife 
such as any soldier might need in the emergen- 
cies of camp life, but on its front were embroid- 
ered the letters, " R. V. D." 

He stood gazing at them for a moment as if 
they were cabalistic, and the mystery was just 
filtering through his mind. Then, with trem- 
bling hands, he threw it across the room. 

"My God," he cried, " and I thought it was for 
her brother ! And it is for the comfort of the 
enemy ! " 

"It is only a keepsake," said Mary faintly. 
She was frightened and weakened by his agita- 
tion. 

He looked at her as if he saw her but dimly, 
then he said in a hard voice, " This is the end of 
all. Pick it up," pointing to the housewife. 
" Now go. Take the visible evidence of your 
treason and go, and may God and your poor 
brother forgive you. I never shall." 

At another time, Mary might have pleaded 
with him, but she was dazed, and before she had 
recovered her presence of mind, her father had 
left the house. Then she too, as if still in a 
dream, picked up the offending gift and went out. 

She could not understand her father. She did 
not know what the gift to the enemy meant to 
him. How he felt as if a serpent had stung him 
from his own hearth. 



DIVIDED HOUSES 83 

She went mechanically, at first, scarce know- 
ing which way she tended. Then thought came 
to her, and with the keepsake still in her hand, 
she turned dry-eyed towards Nannie Woods' 
house. 

" It was such a little thing," she murmured as 
she went into the house, and then suddenly, un- 
consciousness came to her. 



CHAPTEK Till 

AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEAET 

When Mary recovered consciousness, it was to 
find herself lying in Nannie's own bed and her 
friend beside her. For a moment, she did not re- 
member what had happened, and then the full 
flood tide of recollection swept over her mind. 
She buried her head on Nannie's bosom and 
sobbed out her story. 

" Never mind," said Nannie, " never mind, 
you're going to come here and stay with me, 
that's what you are going to do. No hard- 
hearted fathers are going to bother you, that's 
what they're not." 

Say what you will, there is always something 
of the child left in every woman, and though the 
soft-hearted girl talked and cooed to Mary as she 
would have done to a restless child, the heart- 
broken woman was soothed by it. 

" Don't you think father ought to understand, 
Nannie ? It isn't because Eobert is a copper- 
head or a rebel, whichever he is, that I love him, 
but in spite of it." 

84 



AS A MAN THINKETH 85 

" Mary," said Nannie, and her voice was medi- 
tative and her face dreamy, "don't you know 
there never was a man yet who knew how or 
why a woman loved ? " A new wisdom, a half 
playful wisdom though it was, seemed to have 
come to the girl. Some women never grow 
clear-sighted until their eyes are opened to the 
grey form of an oncoming sorrow. Nannie was 
of this class. "But," she went on laughing, 
" it's all the fault of Father Adam. Men are so 
much the sons of their fathers, and it all comes 
of giving him the first woman while he was 
asleep and not letting him know when nor 
how." 

" And yet men do love," said Mary seriously. 

"Oh, of course they love, but — " the girls' 
eyes met and both of them blushed. " It won't 
last long anyhow, Mary, so what's the use of be- 
ing sad? Let's talk about them." Nannie 
cuddled down close to the bed. 

" About whom ? " was the deceitful question. 

" Oh, you minx, you know whom. What's the 
use of asking? I wonder where Tom is to- 
night ? " 

" It's hard telling, they've been delaying them 
so much along the road." 

" I don't think it's right at all. They rushed 
them off toward Washington, and I think they 
ought to be allowed to get there. How's a man 



86 THE FANATICS 

going to distinguish himself if he can't get any- 
where within sight of the enemy ? " 

" I haven't your spirit, Nannie, I wish I had. 
I forget all about distinction. I only wonder 
how it's all going to turn out, and if those I love 
are coming back to me." 

"Oh, Mary, don't be like that. Of course, 
they're coming back, Tom and Rob and all of 
them, and we're going to be happy again, and 
there won't be any such names called as copper- 
head and rebel and abolitionist. Let me show 
you what I've made for Tom. I'd have given it 
to him before he went away, but it was all so 
sudden. Oh, my ! " and for an instant the girl 
dropped her chin upon her hands and sat staring 
into Mary's eyes without seeing her. Then she 
sprang up and darted away. In a few minutes 
she returned bearing with her some mysterious 
piece of feminine handiwork over which the two 
fell into the sweet confidences so dear to their 
age and sex. 

Nannie, light and frivolous as she seemed, had 
a deep purpose in her mind. She saw clearly 
that the serious, not to say, morbid cast, of 
Mary's character, would drive her to lay too 
much importance upon her father's act and so 
perhaps, let it prove more injurious to her than 
was necessary. Without Mary's depth, she saw 
more clearly than Bradford Waters' daughter 



AS A MAN THINKETH 87 

that a little space of madness was at hand, and 
every deed had to be judged not by its face alone, 
but by its face as affected by the surrounding at- 
mosphere, just as the human countenance shows 
ghastly in one light and ruddy in another, with- 
out really changing. So she strove to draw her 
companion's thought away from her sorrows and 
to avert the dangers she anticipated. She suc- 
ceeded only in part. After awhile, Mary fell 
into a light sleep, but on the morrow she awoke 
with a raging fever. The strain on her nerves 
had been too great and she had succumbed to it. 

At the first intimation of danger to his daugh- 
ter, Nannie had bid her father hasten to notify 
Bradford Waters. 

" It's no use," said Nathan Woods, " Waters is 
more set in his views than any man I ever saw. 
If he believes that he had reason to send her out 
of his house, not even death itself could take her 
back there unless those reasons were destroyed. 
I know Bradford Waters, and he's a hard man." 

But the young woman insisted, and, as usual, 
had her way. Her father went to Waters. 
There was not much tact or finesse about his ap- 
proach. He found his neighbor sitting down to 
a lonely breakfast, and depositing his hat on the 
floor, after an embarrassed silence, he began. 

" Kind of lonesome, eh ? " 

" These are no times for men to be lonesome. 



88 THE FANATICS 

The Lord makes every loyal man a host in him- 
self." 

" That's good, and yet it isn't the kind of host 
that crowds on each other's toes and cracks jokes 
to keep the time a-going." 

" You're irreverent, Nathan, and besides, this 
is no time to be cracking jokes. The hour has 
come when the cracking of rifles is the only 
thing." 

" I didn't mean to be irreverent, and I'm afraid 
you don't understand. I've come for your own 
good, Waters. The little girl sent me. Don't 
you think you're doing wrong ? " 

" No, as the god of battles is my judge, no ! " 
Waters' eyes were blazing, and he had forgotten 
his breakfast. 

" Your daughter is at my house, and she is 
sick, very sick." 

" I have no daughter." 

" God gave you one." 

" He also said that a house divided against it- 
self cannot stand." 

" What of that ? " 

" My house is my son Tom and myself." 

" What of your daughter, Mary ? " 

Waters turned upon him his sad bright eyes, 
sad in spite of their hardness. 

" If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off," he 
said, with a slashing gesture. 



AS A MAN THINKETH 89 

" That's not right," said Nathan Woods. "It's 
not right, I say, to be using the Scripture to 
stand between you and your daughter." 

" I have no daughter. The daughter I had has 
gone out after other gods than mine." 

The old New England fanaticism, the Puritan- 
ical intolerance, was strong in the man. 

" My God," exclaimed his opposer, " quit mu- 
tilating the Bible to bolster up your own pride. 
Mary's sick, she's sick enough to die, maybe." 

" If she die away from home, it is God's will, 
perhaps his punishment," said Waters solemnly. 

" Is it Jepthah and his daughter ? " 

" No, it is David and Absalom." 

Nathan Woods got up; he looked long and 
hard at his old friend. Then, taking his hat 
from the floor, he started for the door. There 
he paused. 

" And the war has done this," he said slowly. 
" Well, Bradford, I say damn the war." 

The lonely father sat down again to his break- 
fast, but the food disgusted him. 

Mary sick and away from home. What would 
Tom say? What would Tom have done? But 
then the memory of the whole wrong she 
had done him and her brother came back 
upon the old man, and he shut his teeth hard. 
It was a crime. It was treason. Let her go 
her way and die among the people who were 



90 THE FANATICS 

willing to condone her faults. He could not. 
It was not flesh and blood, but soul and spirit 
that counted now. It was not that the South 
had touched his body, and that Mary had 
sided with them. It was that a rebellious sec- 
tion had touched not his soul, but the soul of his 
country, and his daughter had bade them God- 
speed. This was the unforgivable thing. This 
was the thing that put the girl outside the 
pale of parental pardon. So thinking, he rose 
from the table and went out of the disordered 
house. 

Dorbury was a town of just the size where 
any one's business is every one's else. So it was 
an impossibility that the breach between Mary and 
her father should long remain a secret. A half- 
dozen neighbors knew the story an hour after 
the doctor had left Nathan Woods' door, and had 
told it in varying degrees of incorrectness. 

One gossip said that Waters' daughter had 
sought to elope with Eobert Yan Doren, had even 
got as far as the railway station, when her father 
had found her and brought her back. She was 
now imprisoned at the Woods', with Nannie to 
watch her. 

Another knew on good authority that Mary had 
denounced the Union, declared her intention of 
doing all she could to aid the Confederacy, and had 
then fled from home to escape from her father's 



AS A MAN THINKETH 91 

just wrath. Anice Crowder's story of the affair 
in the sewing-circle gave color to this view of the 
case. 

Still, another, however, told how Robert Yan 
Doren's sweetheart, mad for love of him, and 
crazed at the choice he had made, went wander- 
ing about the streets until friendly hands took 
her to Nannie's door. One man had helped to 
take her there. 

So the rumors flew from lip to lip like shuttle- 
cocks and the story grew with the telling of it. 

It would have been strange then, if it had not 
reached the ears of the Van Dorens. Indeed, it 
came to them on the first morning. Stephen 
Yan Doren chuckled. 

" You're making a great stir for one poor cop- 
perhead," he said to his son. " You've made the 
wolf's stir in the Waters 5 sheepfold. If you'll 
only cause the Yankees as much trouble when 
you have a musket in your hand, I shall have 
reason to be proud of my son." 

Robert turned angrily upon his father. 

" I wish you wouldn't talk that way about the 
matter, father. I don't like all this talk about 
Mary, and I wish I could stop it. If the girl is 
suffering on account of loyalty to me, God bless 
her. It's as little as my father could do to speak 
respectfully of her sacrifice." 

" You do not understand me, Robert, I do not 



92 THE FANATICS 

laugh at the girl. It is at her father and his 
folly that I laugh." 

" My love for his daughter makes the father 
sacred to me." 

" It must be a very strong love that makes 
Bradford Waters sacred." 

" My love for Mary is deeper and stronger 
than any political prejudice that you or I might 
have." 

" Yery well, Bob, very well, go your own way. 
My business is not with your love, but with your 
politics; if the latter be all right I shall not 
worry about the former." 

Robert Van Doren spent little time after hear- 
ing of Mary's illness, but betook himself immedi- 
ately to her door. Nannie met him and drew 
him inside. 

" I am so sorry," she began before he could tell 
his errand, " but you cannot see her. She is very 
sick and excitable. Oh, Robert, isn't it awful, 
this war and all that it is bringing to us ? " 

" I wish it were over. Is Mary delirious ? " 

" At times, and when she isn't, we could almost 
wish she were ; she is so piteous." 

" Her father has been hard upon her." 

" Yes, that's because he's delirious too. Every 
one is mad, you and I and all of us. When shall 
we come to our senses ? " 

" God knows. Will you give Mary this ? " He 



AS A MAN THINKETH 93 

drew off his glove and laid it in Nannie's hand. 
" Tell her it is forbidden me to say good-bye to 
her, but I leave this as a pledge, and when I may, 
I shall come back and redeem it." 

There were tears on Nannie's face as he turned 
toward the door. With an impulsive movement, 
she sprang forward and laid her hand on his 
arm. " You may kiss me," she said, " and I will 
bear it to her, and place it on her lips as you 
would have done." 

Kobert paused, and bent over her lips as he 
might have done over Mary's, and then with a 
wave of his hand, he was gone and the door be- 
hind him closed. Nannie turned and went to 
Mary's room where she laid the glove on the 
pillow beside the pale face of the unconscious 
girl. Her brow was fevered and her hair di- 
shevelled, and every now and then incoherent 
words forced themselves between her parched 
lips. 

" I might have let him see her for a minute, 
but it was better not to. He would only have 
gone away with the misery of it in his heart." 
Then Nannie stooped and kissed her friend's 
lips. " There, Mary," she said, " it's from him. 
Oh, my dear, dear girl, if your father could see 
you now, I believe even his heart would melt 
towards you." 

But Bradford Waters was not to see her then. 



94 THE FANATICS 

With bowed head and slow steps, eaten by grief, 
anger and anxiety, he made his way towards the 
tobacco warehouse where he spent a large part 
of the day among his employees. The place had 
never seemed quite the same to him since the 
first day Tom had been absent from his desk. 
He was thinking of him now as he went cheer- 
lessly along. What a head for business the boy 
had. How much more of a success he would be 
than ever his father had been. How the men 
loved him already. It was no wonder that Mary 

— but Mary He checked his thoughts and 

set his teeth hard. There was no Mary, no sister 
any more. She had broken the tie that bound 
her to Tom and him. He said this to himself be- 
cause he did not know how women wrench and 
tear their hearts to keep from breaking ties that 
war with each other. 

He was absorbed in such thoughts when some 
one hailed him from a doorway. 

" What news ? " said a gentleman stepping out 
and joining him in his walk. 

" No news, except of delay," said Waters in a 
dissatisfied tone. 

" Where is the gallant First now ? " 

They were already the " Gallant First " al- 
though they had not yet got within powder- 
smelling distance of the enemy. 

" The gallant First is being delayed and played 



AS A MAN THINKETH 95 

with somewhere between Columbus and Wash- 
ington." 

" Why should that be ? " 

" It all comes of electing a gentleman gov- 
ernor." 

" Why now, Waters," said Davies, smilingly. 
" There is surely no objection to a governor's 
being a gentleman ? " 

" There's some objection to his being nothing 
else." 

" You remind me a good deal of the Method- 
ists and the devil ; whatever bad happens, they 
are never at a loss to know where to put the 
blame. I sometimes think that maybe the devil 
is painted a little black, and likewise, maybe, 
Dennison isn't to blame for everything that goes 
wrong in the handling of this situation." 

Waters took this sally with none too good a 
grace. Davies was suspected of being luke- 
warm in the Union cause, and some had even ac- 
cused him of positive Southern sympathies. He 
was a wealthy, polished, easy-going man, and his 
defence of Governor Dennison, whose acts every 
one felt free to blame at that time, was more be- 
cause he sympathized with that gentleman's 
aristocratic tastes and manners than because he 
wished delay to the progress of the Union's 
forces. 

" So you think it's Dennison who's delaying the 



96 THE FANATICS 

troops, do you ? " he went on in a light, banter- 
ing tone. 

" I think nothing about it, I only know that 
our boys went rushing away to the state capital, 
and under the impression that Washington was 
menaced, were sent flying east half equipped and 
totally unprepared for the conflict, and I do know 
that despite their haste, they have not reached 
their destination yet." 

" For which, of course, the devil is to blame ? " 

" Whoever is to blame, this is no time for a 
banqueting, bowing, speech-making governor. 
We need a man of action in the chair now, if we 
ever did. Look how things are going at Colum- 
bus. Troops flocking there, no provision made 
for them. Half of them not knowing whether 
they are to be accepted or not and the dandy 
who calls himself the chief executive sits there 
and writes letters. My God, what have we 
come to ! " 

" Have you ever thought that even a governor 
needs time to adjust himself to a great crisis ? 
Is it not true that the authorities of the general 
government insisted on the regiment in which 
your son's company is placed going directly to 
Washington ? " 

" Then why are they not there instead of dally- 
ing about, heaven knows where, while a lot of 
other fellows are being quartered at the Colum- 



AS A MAN THINKETH 97 

bus hotels at extortionate prices which the tax- 
payers must pay ? " 

" Are you measuring your patriotism by dol- 
lars and cents ? " 

" I'm measuring my patriotism by the greatest 
gift that any one could make to his country, his 
only son. Have you an equal measure ? " 

€i No, but I have some confidence in my state 
and my country's officers, and that is worth some- 
thing in a time like this. Now don't get hot in 
the collar, Waters, but you wait awhile and give 
Dennison and the government time." 

"Yes, wait, wait, that's been the cry right 
along. Wait until every road this side the capi- 
tal of the country is blocked and from Maryland 
and Virginia the rebels march victorious into 
Washington. Don't talk to me of waiting, 
Davies, we have waited too long already, that's 
what's the matter." 

Davies laughed lightly as he turned down the 
street which led to his own office. 

Bradford Waters' intemperance was a great 
index of the spirit of the time as it was mani- 
fested in Ohio. Governor Dennison was too slow 
for the radicals ; too swift for the conservatives, 
and incompetent in the opinion of both. Noth- 
ing could happen, except what was good, nothing 
could go wrong but that he was blamed for it. 
All the men who volunteered could not be ac- 



98 THE FANATICS 

cepted and Dennison was to blame. The soldiers 
were delayed enroute and Dennison was to 
blame. Rations were scarce and prices high and 
Dennison was to blame, and so all the odium that 
attaches to a great war which strikes a people un- 
prepared for it, fell upon the head of the hapless 
executive. 



CHAPTER IX 

A LETTEE FROM THE FRONT 

In the days which followed the separation be- 
tween Mary and himself, Bradford Waters was 
indeed a lonely man. He was harassed not only 
by the breach with the child he loved and the 
public comments upon it, but torn with anxiety 
for Tom. He spent his days and nights in brood- 
ing that made him harder and bitterer as time 
went on. His fanatical dislike for Stephen Yan 
Doren grew because this man and his family 
seemed to him the author of all his woes. He 
was not only just a copperhead, now, with a son 
in the Confederate army, he stood as the person- 
ification of the whole body of rebellion that had 
taken Waters' son and daughter and broken up 
his home. He could have no pride in his soldier 
boy without cursing Yan Doren for being one of 
those who had driven him into danger. He 
could not grieve for the loss of Mary without 
sending his imprecations flying in the same di- 
rection. Always to his distorted vision, his old- 

99 



100 THE FANATICS 

time enemy appeared as some relentless monster 
grinning in terrible glee at his distress. 

Despite his moroseness, however, there was a 
wistful, almost plaintive attitude in Waters' con- 
duct towards his acquaintances. He hovered be- 
tween moods of grief, anxiety and pride. But 
always, at the last, the innate hardness of his na- 
ture triumphed. There were times when his 
heart cried out for Mary, for some one of his 
blood to share his grief with him. But he 
closed his lips and uttered no word to bring her 
back to him. Always a simple-living man, ac- 
customed to no service save that of his own fam- 
ily, he was compelled to employ a servant, and 
this galled him, not out of penuriousness, but be- 
cause he could not bear an alien in his home. 
He felt her eyes upon him at moments when it 
seemed that the struggle in his heart must be 
written large upon his face, and it filled him 
with dumb, helpless anger. 

A change, too, was taking place in Van Doren. 
Now that he had a son in the field, he had a new 
feeling for his friend and enemy. Besides being 
a partisan, he was a father and the paternal in- 
stinct prompted him to change his actions to- 
wards Waters. Had the two old men let them- 
selves, they would have poured out their fears, 
hopes and anxieties to each other, and found re- 
lief and sympathy. Both affectionate fathers, 



A LETTEE FROM THE FKONT 101 

similarly bereft of sons and similarly alone, they 
might have been a comfort to each other, but 
that their passions forbade their fraternizing. 
Often they met upon the streets and Van Doren 
would look at Waters with a question in his eyes. 
It would have been such a natural thing to say, 
" Any news of Tom ? " and to be asked in the 
same tone, " What of Bob ? " But Waters 
always scowled fiercely although he kept his 
head averted. So each, smothering down the 
yearning in his heart for companionship and 
sympathy passed on his way with a curb bit on 
his emotions. 

It was about this time that dispatches from 
the front gave warning that a sharp, though 
brief encounter had taken place between the 
rebels and a detachment of troops under General 
Schenck. The news ran like wildfire through 
Dorbury, for it was at first rumored and then 
assured that the First, to which the home com- 
pany belonged, had been engaged and had lost 
several men. Every home out of which a hus- 
band, son or father had gone, waited with 
breathless expectancy, longing, yet dreading to 
hear more definite tidings from the field. The 
people about every fireside clustered closer to- 
gether with blanched faces, wondering if their 
circle had been touched. This was war indeed, 
and with the first fear for their loved ones, 



102 THE FANATICS 

came the first realization of what it really 
meant. 

At first, Bradford Waters tried hard to re- 
strain himself. He gripped his hands hard and 
paced up and down the room. But finally, he 
could stand it no longer. The house had 
grown close and unbearable. Its walls seemed 
to be narrowing in upon him like the sides of a 
torture chamber. He hurried out into the street 
and into the telegraph office. There was no 
further news. Then to the office of the one re- 
maining paper. Their bulletin furnished nothing 
further. For two hours he paced back and forth 
between these two places, feverish and disturbed. 
Yan Doren saw him pass back and forth on his 
anxious tramp, and his own heart interpreted 
the other's feelings. Once, the impulse came to 
him to speak to Waters, and he rose from the 
window where he had been sitting, and went to 
the door, but the crazed man turned upon him 
such a grey, haggard face and withal so fierce 
and unfriendly, that he retreated from his good 
intentions, and let him pass on unchallenged. 

The next day the news was better. The papers 
said that the casualties had been almost nothing. 

Waters' hopes rose, and he showed a more 
cheerful face to those who saw him. Maybe 
Tom was safe, after all, maybe he had been gal- 
lant in action, and would be promoted. His 



A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 103 

heart throbbed with joy and pride as if what he 
wished were already a fact. It is a strange 
thing about home people in war time that after 
the first pang of anxiety is over, the very next 
thought is one of ambition. They seem all to 
see but two contingencies for their loved ones, 
death or promotion. It happened that there 
was not a single engagement of the war, how- 
ever small or insignificant, but it gave some 
home circle a thrill of hope that one who was 
dear to them might have moved up a notch in 
the notice and respect of his country. It was 
not narrowness nor was it the lust for personal 
advancement. It was rather the desire of those 
who give of their best to serve a beloved cause 
to have them serve it in the highest and most re- 
sponsible position possible. 

Meanwhile, to Mary slowly recovering her 
strength and balance, had come much of the 
anxiety which racked her father. With the in- 
consistent faith of a woman, she said that God 
could not have let her brother fall in this first 
fight, and she prayed that he might be restored to 
them safe. And even before the breath of her 
declaration and prayer had cooled on her lips, she 
wept as she pictured him dead on the roadside. 

Later, it is true, these people's hearts came to 
be so schooled in the terrible lessons of civil war 
that they let such light skirmishes as this one at 



104 THE FANATICS 

Vienna give them little uneasiness. But then, 
they did not know. 

Bradford Waters' great joy came to him two 
days after the papers had lightened his care. 
There was a list of the wounded and killed, and 
Tom's name was not among them. Then came 
his letter. 

" Dear father," it ran, " I suppose you've been 
in horrible suspense about me, and a good deal 
of it is my fault. But when a fellow is learning 
entirely new things, among them how to write 
without any sort of writing materials under the 
sun, it isn't easy, is it ? Then, too, I've been 
trying to learn to be a soldier. It's awfully dif- 
ferent, this being a militiaman and a soldier. 
In the first place, a militiaman may curse his 
governor. A soldier must not. It's been hard 
refraining, but I haven't cursed Dennison as I 
wanted to. Some of the fellows say he's all 
right, but we've been delayed on the way here 
by first one thing and then another until the pa- 
tience of all of us is worn out. If it isn't Gov- 
ernor Dennison's fault, whose is it ? I wish 
you'd find out. We fellows don't know, and 
can't find out anything. The generals just take 
us wherever they please and never consult us 
about anything. But I'm used to that now. 

" Of course, you've heard about the trouble at 
Vienna, and I was afraid you'd be considerably 
worried. It wasn't anything much. Only it 
was different from a muster day. Some rebels 
fired on our train unexpectedly, but we tumbled 



A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 105 

out helter-skelter and fired back at them, and so 
they let us alone. It didn't seem quite fair to 
jump on a fellow when he wasn't looking, but I 
guess this is war. 

" There isn't a thing to do about Washington 
these days. It's as safe as a meeting-house. There 
are some New York troops here that I have got 
acquainted with, but we don't any of us do any- 
thing but look pretty. Some of the fellows are 
already looking forward to the mustering out 
day. But mustered out or not, I'm going to 
hang around here, for there's no telling when 
things are going wrong, and for my part, I ex- 
pect more trouble. A set of fellows who will 
fire on their own flag as they did at Sumter are 
perfectly capable of lying low until they quiet 
our suspicions and then raising the very dickens. 

" Give Mary my love, and tell her she ought 
to see Washington and all the pretty girls here 
that cheer us as we go along the streets. (Tell 
her to read this part of the letter to Nannie. 
I'm going to write her anyway in a day or two, 
but now it's all go, go, go, learn, learn, learn.) 
Take care of yourself, father, or rather let Mary 
take care of you, for you would never think of 
it. I'll write you again when I get a chance. 

" Your son, 
"Tom." 

Bradford Waters could have wept for joy over 
his son's letter, but that he felt weeping to be 
unworthy of a soldier's father. The battle of 
Vienna had been fought and his son had come 
out safe. He thought of it as a Thermopylse 



106 THE FANATICS 

when it was only a petty skirmish. A few 
rebels fired at a few Unionists, who lined them- 
selves up against their cars and returned the fire. 
This was all, but he preferred to think of his son 
as one of a band of heroes who at great odds had 
repelled the assailants of their country's flag, and 
held the day against armed treason. 

One thing grieved him greatly, the refer- 
ence to Mary. He could not tell her nor 
talk it over with her. She take care of him ! 
What would her brother think if he knew how 
they were living, and he was going to write to 
Nannie ? Would she not tell him all, and what 
encouragement would this be to the boy in the 
field when he knew how matters were going at 
home ? Bradford Waters' hand trembled and 
the letter burned in his fingers. 

Notwithstanding his perplexity, when Waters 
appeared on the streets that day, Stephen Yan 
Doren seeing him, did not need to inquire to 
know that the Unionist had received a welcome 
letter from his son, and secretly, he rejoiced at 
it. Knowing as he did, that the time would come 
when anxiety for his own boy would tear at his 
heart, he could not begrudge the other man his 
joy. He was pleased, too, because as he passed 
Waters and looked into his beaming face, there 
seemed almost an inclination on his part to stop 
and speak. 



A LETTER FROM THE FRONT 107 

Indeed, the old Unionist did want to stop and 
say, " Stephen, I've heard from Tom, and he's all 
right." He did not, and the repression only 
made him long the more for Mary. He wanted 
her to see his letter, to know that her brother 
was being cheered by the women of Washington, 
and to feel what he felt. But would she feel so ? 
Had not her heart already gone too strongly to 
the other side ? The question came again to 
him, and he hardened again in face of it. 

He would not tell her nor send the letter to 
her. She was a traitor. But he would let her 
know that he had received it. So that afternoon, 
he talked much of his letter in the places where 
men congregate, and told what Tom had said, 
and Mary heard of it from others and burned 
with eagerness. 

That night, as soon as darkness had fallen, 
eluding Nannie's vigilance, she crept out of the 
house. She made her way to her own home, and 
back and forth before the door, she walked and 
kept vigil. Maybe her father would see her and 
come out and tell her more of Tom. Maybe he 
would understand and forgive her and she could 
go back to him again. But she wished in vain, 
and after a time, her heart unsatisfied, she went 
back to Nannie's, and silently let herself in. 

It was after midnight, when Waters crept out 
of his house, and with feverish steps made his 



108 THE FANATICS 

way to the Woods' door. For a long time he 
walked up and down before the place even as 
Mary had done, and then, as if struck with a 
sudden determination, he opened the gate and 
going to the door, slipped the letter under it. 
Then he turned away home, feeling lighter and 
better because he had shared his joy with his 
daughter. 



CHAPTEE X 

SOEEOW MAY LAST FOE A NIGHT 

It was of a piece with the proverbial blindness 
of man that Nathan Woods should have stepped 
over the letter as he went out in the morning 
without taking note of it, just as it was natural 
to the keen sight of woman that Nannie should 
see it the first thing as she came down in the 
morning. She ran swiftly towards it and cast her 
eye over the address. At first she gasped, then 
she awoke the echoes with a joyous shriek and 
went flying up to Mary's room, Mary sat up in 
bed in dumb amazement which was only in- 
creased when the enthusiastic girl threw her arms 
about her and began sobbing and laughing alter- 
nately. 

" Oh, Mary," she cried, " it's come, it's come, 
and he's all right." 

"What is it, Nannie? What's come, and 
who's all right ? " 

" Your father's been here, oh ! " 

" My father ? When ? What did he say ? " 

109 



110 THE FANATICS 

" Nothing, oh, I didn't see him, he didn't say 
anything." 

" I don't understand you, Nannie. You say 
my father didn't say anything at all ? " 

" Why, how could he ? He came at night, and 
he didn't say anything because he couldn't, you 
know. We were all asleep, but he left this." 
She broke off her violent demonstrations long 
enough to thrust the letter into Mary's hand, then 
she immediately resumed them with such a de- 
gree of fervor that her friend found it impossible 
to get a glimpse of the missive she held in her 
hand. Gently, at last, she put her hand aside, 
and then trembling with anticipation, glanced at 
the letter. Her face fell. 

" But this is not addressed to me," she said. 

" Oh, you great goose, don't you see, that it's to 
your father and from Tom and that he wanted 
you to know ? Else why should he have slipped 
it under the door ? " 

" Do you think he did it, really ? " 

" Of course, he did, who else ? He couldn't 
lose it crawling into our hallway, and that's the 
only other way it could have got there." 

" I wonder if I ought to read it ? " mused Mary 
fingering the envelope eagerly, but nervously. 

" Mary Waters ! " exclaimed Nannie, " if you 
don't read that letter this instant, I'll take it 
from you and read it myself." 



SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 111 

" That's right, do, Nannie, you're braver than 
I am," and Mary proffered the letter. But 
Nannie sprang back with sudden timidity. 

" No, I won't," she said. " It's for you, but if 
it were my brother's letter, I'd have read it long 
before now." 

" Well, I'll read it, if you'll stay and hear it," 
and she took the penciled sheets out and began 
the perusal of the words which had brought so 
much joy to her father's heart. As she read, the 
color came back to her faded cheeks and the 
light to her eyes. Her bosom heaved with pleas- 
ure and pride. Nannie was no less delighted. 
As the reading went on, she continued to give 
Mary little encouraging hugs, and she was radiant. 

Then came the passage about the girls. 

" Humph," said Nannie, " is that all a soldier 
has to write about? I should think he'd be 
thinking more about the safety of his country 
than about the girls he sees." 

" Oh, you know he's only funning, Nannie, 
and then he says Washington's as safe as a meet- 
ing-house." 

" I don't believe it. I believe the rebels are 
waiting to swoop down on the city at any time 
and capture all our state papers, and archives 
and things, wherever they keep them, while our 
soldiers go around looking pretty for the girls to 
cheer. Humph ! " 



112 THE FANATICS 

Mary kissed her and laughed, and the rest of 
the reading proceeded without demonstrations 
from Tom's sweetheart. At its close, she made 
no comment whatever, but sat upon the bed 
swinging her feet with pronounced indifference. 

"Aren't you glad to hear from him?" said 
Mary merrily, " and to find him in such good 
spirits ? Dear old Tom. And wasn't it good of 
father to bring his letter to me ? Didn't I tell 
you, Nannie, that my father didn't mean half he 
said ? " 

" No you didn't, Mary Waters. You thought 
the end of everything had come, even after I 
tried to convince you that it hadn't, and as for 
being glad, to be sure, I'm glad you've heard 
from your brother. Any one with relatives in 
the field must be very anxious." 

" But you know, he said he was going to write 
to you, Nannie." 

" It's very kind in him ; I wonder he can take 
time from his Washington girls to write." 

Then Mary laughed. " It can't be that you 
are jealous, Nannie, girl," she said affectionately 
taking her friend in her arms. " You know Tom 
is teasing you." 

" I jealous ! " oh how the little woman sniffed ! 
" I can assure you that I'm not jealous, but I 
have the interests of my country at heart, and I 
cannot but feel sorry to see our soldiers giving 



SORKOW MAY LAST A NIGHT 113 

themselves up to trivial amusements when she is 
in danger of — oh, just the most awful things. 
I'm not jealous, oh, no, but I'm ashamed of Tom." 

" Why, Nannie, how can you ? " said Mary 
reddening. 

" Well, I am, and I mean it, and it's awful, 
that's what it is." 

"I'm sorry my brother has offended you." 

" Oh, Mary," Nannie was always inarticulate 
in her emotion, but Mary understood the burst 
of tears as Nannie threw herself on her bosom, 
and forgave her disparagement of Tom. 

" What a little silly you are. You know he 
was only joking." 

" Joking ! Such a letter isn't any joke. It's 
brutal, that's what it is. Pretty girls cheering 
him ! I hate those Washington girls. I just 
know they're bold, brazen things, and they 
didn't look at another man but Tom." 

" Never you mind, you'll have a letter soon." 

" I don't want it." 

" All right. Maybe it won't come. The mails 
are very irregular now." 

" Mary Waters, how can you say such a mean 
thing ? " 

"I didn't think you'd mind it." 

" But I do mind it. You know the mails are 
regular here. It's not the mails that I'm worry- 
ing about." 



114 THE FANATICS 

She must have worried about something 
though, for when her father came in with the 
morning paper, she was eager to know if he 
had been to the post office, and on receiving a 
negative answer, was downcast for fully five 
minutes. 

" The mail wouldn't have been sorted yet, any- 
how," said her father, " and Banes's boy's going 
to bring it when he goes for theirs. 1 ' 

" The mail is very slow in Dorbury, isn't it ? " 
Nannie proffered a little later, and was angry 
because Mary laughed again. 

The promise of a letter was at least two days 
away, but Nannie ate very little that morning. 
She fastened her eyes upon the window which 
commanded the walk up which the Banes boy 
must come. Finally, when he hove in sight, she 
sprang away from the table with a cry, of " Oh, 
there he is ! " and every one knew why her appe- 
tite had lapsed. 

Fate was kind. It was kind two days ahead 
of promise, a strange thing, but this was her off 
day. There was a letter, and it was for Nannie 
and from Tom. She came directly to the table 
with it, because she didn't know any better, and 
there were no daws about to peck at an exposed 
heart. She read and smiled and bridled and 
blushed while the rest of the assembly neglected 
their eggs. 



SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 115 

" Oh, give us some of it," said her father ban- 
teringly. 

" I won't," she answered, and it was a good 
thing Tom couldn't see her smile and blush, for if 
he had been any sort of man, he would have de- 
serted at once. 

"Isn't there anything he says that we may 
hear ? " 

" Oh, do let me alone," she answered, and — 
well, it's hard to tell, but she giggled. 

"What a softy he must be," said her little 
brother, "just writing about no-account things, 
when you'd think he'd be saying something about 
fighting. 'Tain't polite to read letters before 
folks anyhow." 

"You hush up, Eeuben," said Nannie indig- 
nantly, "don't you suppose a soldier can talk 
about anything but the horrors of war ? " 

"I knew it was from Tom," said Eeuben 
jeeringly. 

"Keep quiet, Eeuben," said his father, "no 
telling when you'll be putting on fresh ties every 
night, an' tryin' to find out an excuse to be out 
to a ' literary ' or a singing school." 

Eeuben grew red and was silent. His particu- 
lar tone of red was what is denominated Turkey, 
and it was relieved by freckles. 

" Well, I'll just read you a little of it," said 
Nannie finally. " I'm not going to tell you what 



116 THE FANATICS 

he calls me in the beginning. That's none of 
their business, is it, Mary ? " and she ran over 
and kissed Tom's sister for Tom's sake. Then 
she looked at the letter again. 

" Well, he says, ' Dear little — ' no I'm going 
to leave that out. He sends his love to you, 
papa, but of course, that's at the last." 

" Would it hurt you to be consecutive ? " asked 
Nathan Woods drily. 

"Oh, now, don't tease, just listen. He says, 
oh, Mary, he doesn't say another word about 
those Washington girls. It was only a joke, 
don't you think it was ? I knew Tom couldn't 
be thinking very seriously just of girls when 
there was something very, very important to do. 
You know I told you so, Mary." 

" No," said Mary tantalizingly, " I don't think 
that you did tell me just that." 

" And of course," said her father, " you may 
not know it isn't, but this is not, I maintain, this 
is not hearing the letter." 

" Oh, well, he says he's in Washington. How 
perfectly charming it must be in Washington. I 
know that must be a great town with the govern- 
ment and senators and such things about you. 
Dear, how I should like to be there, and oh, 
Mary, don't you remember about the Potomac in 
the geography, just think, Tom's seen the 
Potomac ! " 



SORROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 117 

" I know about the Potomac," said Reuben. 

"That's not the letter yet," was her father's 
comment. 

" Well, if you'd only stop, father, I'd get to 
it," said Nannie. 

" We are dumb." 

" Oh, papa, now, please don't joke, it's really 
very, very serious." 

" Has one among them been taken ? " 

" That's just it, that's just it. The rebels tried 
to take them, and they didn't, and Tom — Tom — 
I think he ought to be promoted for it. It's 
wonderful." 

" What did Tom do ? Save his whole brigade ? " 

" Well, I don't know that he did that, but he 
says that he shot and shot, and that the bullets 
spit up against the car behind him. Think of it ! " 

" It would have been a good deal worse if they 
had spit up against him," said Woods. He had 
been in the Mexican war and unfortunately had 
lost his romance. "Now, daughter, for the 
letter." 

" All right, you won't mind omissions, will 
you ? " 

" No, if you'll only omit your pauses and ex- 
clamations." 

" ' We are here, at last at the capital, and I tell 
you, it's a great place. I don't wonder in the 
least that men want to be congressmen when 



118 THE FANATICS 

they can live in a town like this. Why, I'd be 
willing to take all the cares of the government 
on my shoulders just to live in a town like this. 
But you know, the voters have never pressed 
upon my shoulders the affairs of state, and so my 
willingness to be unselfish goes for nothing ! ' 
Now isn't that bright of Tom ? " 

" Oh, Nannie, for heaven's sake, go on." 
Nathan Woods was both short and impatient. 
" What we want is news, news about the troops 
and their condition there." 

" I'm afraid, papa," said Nannie ruefully, " that 
there isn't much news. But never mind, listen. 
' I got to see Lincoln the other day, and I don't 
think much of him. He's a big raw-boned fellow 
with a long face and an awfully serious look. 
But for any kind of polish I'll bet old Dennison 
could give him a good many lessons, although I 

don't think much of Dennison. My own- ' 

Oh, no, there's where I've got to make an omis- 
sion, but he goes on to say, ' People are saying 
that the rebellion is going to be a good deal 
bigger thing than we think, and that three 
months' service is hardly going to begin the 
fighting, others say different. Well, I don't 
care. I'm in it to stay, and you needn't expect 
to see me until we've licked the boots off these 
fellows. Do you know what they say ? They 
boast that one Southerner can lick five Yankees. 



SOKROW MAY LAST A NIGHT 119 

Well, I'd like to see them try it.' Oh, isn't that 
just like Tom? He always was in for experi- 
ments." 

" Go on, Nannie, and omit comment." 

" ' But as old man Wilson used to say in geom- 
etry class, if they proceed upon this hypothesis, 
they will be wrong.' Oh, Mary, don't you re- 
member old Mr. Wilson, and how often Tom used 
to tell us about his funny expressions. How 
awfully clever of him to think of it now. But 
I know you're waiting to hear the rest. Oh, I 
can't read this, papa, not a bit of it. Nor the 
rest, oh, I wouldn't read that for anything. Tom 
is so enthusiastic. You know how he is. That's 
just what is going to make a good soldier out of 
him. He says, ' I've seen General Schenck, and 
he's just what you would expect from the Schenck 
family. It seems as if those people kept them- 
selves busy making decent men. The boys all 
like him, although they have not got generally 
trained into liking generals yet. Say, Nannie — ' 
and that's all," said the young girl with a guilty 
blush. 

" How abruptly your brother ends his letters," 
said Nathan Woods, turning to Mary with a 
quizzical smile. " It may be striking, but it's not 
a good literary style." 

" You must always consider the collaborator, 
Mr. Woods," said Mary. 



120 THE FANATICS 

"In this case, I'm not sure that it has been 
collaboration. It may have been interpretation, 
or even, heaven help us, expurgation." 

" Papa," said Nannie with a very red face, 
then she gathered up the loose sheets of her letter 
and fled from the table. 

" Mary," said Nathan "Woods, " what has hap- 
pened this morning has made me very happy, 
but don't count too much upon it. No man re- 
spects your father more than I do. But the 
oyster opens his shell for a little and then shuts 
it as tight as ever. So I would advise you to 
stay with us a while longer. Had he wanted you 
at home, now this is plain, he would have come 
to you openly ; but in putting the letter under 
the door, he only made a sacrifice on account of 
his love for Tom. Don't cry, little girl." 

"No, I'm going to be brave, for I am glad 
even of this kindness from him — but " 

" Aren't we treating you pretty well ? " 

" Yes, but Mr. Woods, you know, don't you ? " 

" Yes, I believe I do understand how you feel 
about it, but just keep on waitin', your time'll 
come." 



CHAPTER XI 

AT HOME 

With the incidents that immediately succeeded 
the skirmish at Vienna, this story has little to do. 
Notwithstanding the enlistment of only three- 
months-men, the country had begun to settle 
down to the realization of war, not insurrection, 
not only rebellion any longer, but war, stern, im- 
placable, and perhaps to last longer than had at 
first been expected. As the days passed, there 
was talk of reorganization. The first was not 
behindhand in the matter, and by the August 
following work among the men had begun. 

On the day that the men came home, Dorbury, 
complacent because no casualty had as yet at- 
tacked her ranks, was out in full force to meet 
them. They, too, recognized the state of war, 
but as yet, it was only a passive condition, and 
when they saw their unbroken lines come back, 
three months' veterans, their pride and joy knew 
no bounds. That many of their men would re- 
turn to the field, would go back to soldiers' deaths 
and soldiers' graves, did not disturb them then. 

121 



122 THE FANATICS 

Sufficient into the day is the evil thereof. So 
they put away all thought of further disaster, 
and revelled only in the present. 

Among those who came back, proud and 
happy, none was more noticeable than " Nigger 
Ed." The sight of camps, the hurry of men and 
the press of a real responsibility had evoked a 
subtle change in the negro, and though his black 
face showed its accustomed grins, and he an- 
swered with humor the sallies made at him, he 
capered no more in the public square for the 
delectation of the crowd that despised him. He 
walked with a more stately step and the people 
greeted him in more serious tones, as if his asso- 
ciation with their soldiers, light though it had 
been, had brought him nearer to the manhood 
which they still refused to recognize in him. 

Perhaps the least joyous of them all was 
Walter Stewart, who had given up his family for 
a principle. While the other boys returned to 
eager relatives, he came home to no waiting 
mother's arms, and no sweetheart was there to 
greet him with love and pride in her eyes. 
There were friends, of course, who gave him 
hearty hand-clasps. But what were friends com- 
pared with one's own family ? 

His mood was not improved when less than 
two days after the return there came a telegram 
calling him to the bedside of his dying father. 



AT HOME 123 

It was a great blow to the young fellow, and 
coming as it did, seemingly as a reproof of his 
career, it may be forgiven him, if in his grief, his 
heart grew lukewarm towards the cause he had 
espoused. As soon as he was able, he hastened 
away to Virginia and his father's bedside, torn 
with conflicting emotions of remorse, love and 
sorrow. 

On an open space topping a hill near Dorbury, 
the white tents of the reorganizing regiment had 
begun to settle like a flock of gulls on a green 
sea. Most of the men who had been out were 
going back again, and the town took on a 
military appearance. It came to be now that 
the girl who had not a military lover or relative 
was one to be pitied, and the one who had, stood 
up with complacent Phariseeism and thanked 
her Creator that she was not as other maidens 
were. 

It was now that the sewing-circle exerted itself 
to the utmost, both in their natural province and 
in entertainment for the soldiers. Everything 
now, had the military prefix to it. There were 
soldiers' balls, soldiers' teas, soldiers' dinners and 
soldiers' concerts. Indeed, the sentiment bade 
fair to run to a foolish craze, and those who felt 
most deeply and looked forward with fear to 
what the days might bring forth, beheld this tend- 
ency deprecatingly. 



124 THE FANATICS 

Many of the volunteers, from being decent, 
sensible fellows, had developed into conceited 
prigs. The pride of their families and the adu- 
lation of indiscreet women and none-two-well 
balanced men, combined to turn their thoughts 
more upon the picturesqueness of their own per- 
sonalities than upon the seriousness of what was 
yet to be done. They were blinded by the glare 
of possible heroism, and sometimes lost sight of 
the main thing for which they had banded them- 
selves together. It would be entirely false to say 
that at their first realization of what they had 
gone into they did not rise to all that was ex- 
pected of them. But such was for a time the 
prevailing spirit, and for a while it called forth 
the sneers of old men who had not forgotten 1812 
and 1846, at these three months' soldiers. 

There were others, too, who smiled at the be- 
havior of the young soldiers with less generous 
thoughts. Among them, Stephen Yan Doren, 
who watched from behind closed blinds their 
comings and goings. 

" Do they expect to whip the South, which is 
all fire and passion, with their stripling dandies, 
who go about the streets posing for a child's 
wonder and a woman's glance? Bah, the men 
who have gone into the field from the states of 
rebellion, have gone to fight for a principle, not 
to wear a uniform. They are all earnestness and 



AT HOME 125 

self-sacrifice, and that's what's going to take the 
South to victory." 

His old housekeeper, who was alone with him 
on the place, heard with admiration and belief, 
for she shared her master's opinion of the relative 
worth of the two sections of the country. Neither 
one of them knew that the young men of the 
South were taking their valets into the service 
with them ; entering it as gallants with the tra- 
ditionary ideas of the day, and leaving college 
for the field, because they believed it would be a 
famous lark. 

It was perfectly true of both sections that 
neither looked upon the contest at first with a 
great amount of seriousness. But it is equally 
true that the fact might have been forgiven 
the youth of a country whose sons hitherto 
had made a common cause against a general 
enemy. 

Unlike Van Doren, who stayed between walls 
and chuckled at the coming discomfiture of the 
Union arms, Bradford Waters was much upon 
the streets, and at Camp Corwin, as if the sight 
of these blue-coated defenders of the flag gave 
him courage and hope. He had a good word 
for every soldier he met, and his eyes sparkled as 
they told him of Tom, and the few experiences 
they had had together. 

Tom, true to his promise, had not returned 



126 THE FANATICS 

with the rest, but had preferred to remain near 
the seat of war, and to join his regiment after its 
reorganization. The old man took pride, even, in 
this fact. To him, it was as if Tom were staying 
on the field where he could guard the safety of 
his country in an hour of laxity on the part of 
his comrades. He longed to see him, of course, 
but there was joy in the pain he felt at making a 
sacrifice of his own desires. He had not loaned 
his son to the cause. He had given him freely 
and fully. 

The difference in attitude, between Van Doren 
and Waters, was the difference between regard 
for traditions and a personal faith. The South- 
erner said, " What my people have done," the 
Yankee, " What a man must do." Said one, 
" Coming from the stock he does, Bob must fight 
well." Said the other, " If they all fight like Tom, 
we're bound to whip." It all came to the same 
thing at last, but the contrast was very apparent 
then. 

At news of the safety of his enemy's son, the 
copperhead had lost any sympathy he may have 
had for his Union antagonist, and the other no 
longer looked wistfully at his foreman's face 
when they chanced to meet. 

It was not unnatural that the two girls, Nan- 
nie and Mary, should be affected by the hero- 
worshipping spirit of the town, and being de- 



AT HOME 127 

prived of the objects of their immediate affection, 
enter heartily into the business of spoiling all the 
other young men they could. To Nannie, it was 
all very pleasant, and something of coquetry en- 
tered into her treatment of the soldiers. But 
with Mary it was different. Her thoughts and 
motives were serious, and her chief aim was to 
do something for Tom's old associates, for Tom's 
sake. 

There was no abatement of the rigor of the es- 
trangement between her and her father, for al- 
though, after the incident of the letter, she had 
expected him to call her home, he had made no 
further sign, nor had she. She had yielded not 
one whit in her devotion and loyalty to Robert 
Van Doren. But she took pleasure in doing lit- 
tle kindnesses for the men whom she knew hated 
him for the choice he had made. The time soon 
came, when even this pleasure^ gentle as it was, 
was denied her. 

The story went round among the soldiers that 
old Waters' daughter was the sweetheart of a 
rebel soldier, and that in spite of all her good 
work, she had left home for love of him and his 
cause, and they grew cold towards her. Some 
were even rude. 

It hurt the girl, but she continued her minis- 
trations, nevertheless. Then one day as she 
passed through the camp where the girls some- 



128 THE FANATICS 

times went, she heard a voice from a tent singing 
derisively, 

" Father is a Unionist, so is Brother Tom, 
But I, I'm making lots o' things 
To keep a rebel warm. ' ' 

Mary flushed and hurried on, but the voice 
sang after her : 

" Never mind my Union home, never mind my flag, 
What's the glorious stars and stripes 
Beside Jeff Davis' rag? 

Damn my home and family, damn my Northern pride, 
So you let me go my way to be a rebel's bride." 

The song which some scalawag had impro- 
vised, cut Mary to the heart, but though no man 
would have dared sing it openly, she never took 
the chance of hearing it again. In spite of 
Nannie's pleadings, she would not go again where 
soldiers were congregated. Nor would she tell 
her reason, not that she felt shame in her love, 
but that there seemed some shade of truth in the 
song. She did want to go her way and she 
did want to be Robert's bride, even though they 
called him by such a name as rebel. She loved 
him and what had the stars and stripes or love 
of country to do with that ? What he believed 
was nothing to her, it was only what he was. 

She had heard from Robert but once since his 
departure ; a brief but brave and loving letter, 



AT HOME 129 

in which he told her that he was safe within the 
Confederate lines, and spoke of John Morgan, 
whom he had already begun to admire. Now in 
the dark moment of her sorrow, when every 
hand seemed turned against her because she loved 
this man, she dreamed over his letter as if it 
were a sacred writing, and so dreaming kept to 
herself whenever she could. Even old Nathan 
Woods began to look askance at her when her 
visits and ministrations to the soldiers ceased. 
But he comforted himself with the philosophy 
that " A woman is an unreasonable creature and 
never is responsible for her actions," and however 
false this may be in fact, it satisfied him towards 
Mary, and kept him unchanged to her. He was 
influenced, too, by Nannie's stalwart faith. 
While she could not understand Mary, could not 
enter into the secret chambers of her soul and see 
what was within there, she believed in her, and 
faith is stronger than knowledge. 

" Never mind," she said one day after roundly 
scolding her friend for remaining so close to the 
house, " I know you've got some good reason, 
though I'm sure it's something fanciful. It's so 
like you, Mary." This may have been a bit in- 
consistent in the young girl, but it was express- 
ive of her trust in Mary, and the burdened girl 
was grateful for it. 

So, with bicker, prejudice, adulation, discon- 



130 THE FANATICS 

tent and a hundred other emotions that must 
come to human beings, the stream of days went 
on, and the reorganization of the First was an 
accomplished fact. Still, from the South there 
came news of battle and from Cincinnati there were 
tidings of Kentucky's threatening attitude. West 
Virginia had been rescued for the Union, but 
what if this even more powerful state went over 
to the Confederacy. Men were of many minds. 
Some were wondering at the president for his 
tardiness, and others cursing Dennison for his 
rashness. It became the fashion to damn Lin- 
coln on Sunday and Dennison on Monday. It 
was from such a hot-bed of discontent that the 
First finally tore itself, and left Dorbury on the 
last day of October for the southernmost city of 
the state. 



CHAPTEE XII 

A JOUKNEY SOUTH 

The condition of mind in which young "Walter 
Stewart left Dorbury was not calculated to bring 
him back hastily for the reorganization of his old 
regiment. His thoughts were more of seeing his 
father alive, and of settling their differences, than 
of the righteousness of his cause. Indeed, as the 
train sped southward, his busy mind sometimes 
questioned if he had done right. If the North 
and South were one people as he claimed, would 
not neutrality have been the better course ? 
Surely two brothers have the right to differ with- 
out the whole family's putting in. Is the love of 
country, which we call patriotism, a more com- 
mendable trait than filial affection and obedience, 
and can one deficient in the latter be fully capa- 
ble of comprehending the former ? Had he not 
by the very act of disobeying his father's wishes 
and refuting his wisdom in a case where right 
and wrong were so nearly related, demonstrated 
his inability for a high devotion and obedience 

131 



132 THE FANATICS 

to his country? These, and like sophistries, 
raced through the young man's mind in the first 
heat of his remorse, and for the time, he forgot 
that his choice meant not less love for his father, 
but a broader devotion to his country. It was 
not for the sake of disobedience that he had cast 
his lot with the North, but in pursuance of an 
idea of a larger allegiance. But this he could 
not see, and as he worried and speculated, his 
distress grew. 

When he reached Washington, he had antici- 
pations of some difficulty in securing passage 
through the lines. There was every possibility 
of his being taken for a spy or an informer by one 
side or the other, and the fact that he was a 
lately mustered out soldier would make him an 
object of suspicion to both Unionist and Confed- 
erate. For the time being, his anxiety to be 
away, across the Potomac and into Virginia 
drove every other thought out of his head. For- 
tunately for him, he was known in Washington, 
and influential friends procured for him passes 
through the Union lines. His progress, after he 
reached the rebel outposts, was less speedy. But 
foreseeing this, he conceived that discretion 
would be the better part of valor, and so waited 
for night, and then the laxity of the few pickets 
scattered about helped him, and the stables of 
Falls Church were kind to him, and within an 



A JOURNEY SOUTH 133 

hour after darkness had fallen, he was galloping 
down the road towards Rockford. 

The night was dark and the road none too 
even, but he rode as speedily as caution would 
allow. The way was unfamiliar to him, but he 
followed the directions he had received, trusting 
somewhat to the instincts of his horse to keep 
the path. Now and then, as the animal's hoofs 
clattered over the wooden bridge of river or 
streamlet, he held his breath lest he should rouse 
some lurking foeman. Once as he sped along a 
road besides which the trees grew thickly, a 
voice called to him to halt, but he only dug his 
spurs into the mare's flank, and leaning low over 
her neck, urged her on. Two shots spit vainly 
in the darkness as the road fell away under his 
horse's feet. 

" Suppose I should miss the path," he said to 
himself, "and daylight find me still upon the 
way? Well, it's only a thing to chance now, 
and I must see father before he dies. I must see 
him ! " The cry died away between clinched 
teeth, and leap after leap, the blackness swal- 
lowed him, and vomited him forth again. The 
branches of the trees underneath which he passed, 
reached out and caught at him as if they would 
detain him from his errand. The wind and the 
cricket and all the voices of the night called to 
him. The horse stumbled and her rider lurched 



134 THE FANATICS 

forward, but the good steed was up and on again 
with scarcely a break in her pace, as if she knew 
that the man upon her back was crying in an 
agony of fear, " Father, father, live till I come ! " 

As the distance lessened, Walter's mind was 
in a tumult of emotions. Again and again, the 
picture of his father already dead came before 
him. The white covering of the bed, the stark 
form and the weeping women all were vivid to 
him as actuality. He saw a light ahead of him, 
and checking the speed of his horse, he rode to- 
wards it. But he found that it came from a 
house up one of two roads which forked before 
him. He paused and looked helplessly at the 
diverging paths. He knew there was no time to 
be lost, and chafed at the delay. His indecision, 
however, did not last long. He turned the ani- 
mal's head up the road on which the light was 
shining. 

Proceeding cautiously, he found that the rays 
which had guided him came from the curtained, 
but unshuttered window of a little house stand- 
ing back from the roadside, on a terrace. The 
place itself, did not look formidable, but there 
was no telling what elements of further delay 
were behind the closed door. Nevertheless, he 
reined in, and bringing his horse just inside the 
side gateway, hastened up the terrace and knocked 
at the door. There was the shuffling of feet 



A JOURNEY SOUTH 135 

within, and then the soft, swift scurrying as of 
some one hastening from the room. A moment 
later, the back door slammed, and a horse and 
rider clattered around the side of the house and 
out of the gate. 

In spite of his haste and anxiety, "Walter could 
but smile at the grim humor of the situation. 
That he, who stood there on the threshold, 
dreading what he should encounter beyond, 
should prove a source of terror to any one 
else, was but an illustration of the intermittent 
comedy which treads upon the heels of tragedy 
in the stern melodrama of war. 

His reflections took but a moment ; all that 
had passed, had hardly taken more time, but be- 
fore the impressions were out of his mind, he 
found himself again knocking at the door. 

" "Who is there ? " came a woman's voice. 

" A stranger, but a friend." 

" How do I know that you are a friend ? " 

" You need not know, you need not even open 
the door, only answer my question. I am hunt- 
ing the house of Colonel Stewart, and am not 
sure that I am on the right road. Can you 
direct me ? " 

" You have missed your way," said the hidden 
woman in a voice that bespoke relief from some 
fear. " You should have taken the road to the 
right at the forks. The house is about two miles 



136 THE FANATICS 

beyond on the right side. You can tell it with- 
out trouble. It is a large house, and there will 
be lights about it, for the colonel is very sick." 

Walter did not wait to hear the woman's clos- 
ing words, but with a hearty word of thanks, 
hurried away towards the gate. He was almost 
blithe with the thought that his journey would 
soon be over, and hope rose again in his heart. 
His father might be alive. He would be alive. 
He must be. So he went from hope to certainty 
as he passed with flying steps across the lawn 
and terrace to the gate. There he stopped with 
a gasp of alarm. His horse was no longer there. 
Gone, and the distance between him and his 
father lessened by many minutes when every 
second counted. 

It all came to him in a flash. The frightened 
rider who had dashed away from the house in a 
flash, fearing pursuit, had taken the horse with 
him, or the animal, itself, had become frightened 
and followed involuntarily. 

Walter halted hardly a moment, but turned 
swiftly back to the house. To his knock, came 
the woman's voice again in question. 

" Some one has taken my horse," he cried. 

" It is not so far to walk from here to Colonel 
Stewart's," said the woman coldly. 

" But I cannot walk, I am pressed for time." 

" I do not know you," was the reply, " nor do 



A JOUKNEY SOUTH 137 

I know your business, but I warn you that I am 
armed, and you had better go away." 

" My God ! " cried Walter, " I mean you no 
harm, but can't you help me to a horse, or must 
I take one wherever I can find it ? I am 
Colonel Stewart's son, and my father is dying. 
I must see him." A dry sob broke in his 
throat. 

An exclamation was uttered from within. 
Something that was very like the thud of a gun 
butt sounded on the carpeted floor. The bolts 
were shot and a woman stood in the flood of yel- 
low light. 

In the first instant, Walter saw the form of a 
tall young woman with fair hair, and behind her, 
the room disordered as by hasty movements. A 
gun stood against the wall. Further details he 
did not take note of. 

"Come in for a moment," said the woman, 
" you need have no fear. I can help you to a 
horse." She was hastening into a wrap and hood 
as she spoke. "We already know of you, my 
brother and I ; you are Colonel Stewart's Union- 
ist son." 

Walter flushed, but raised his head defiantly. 

The young woman laughed as she hastened out 
of the room and came back with a lantern and 
key. " You need have no fear, there are no am- 
bushes here. Come." She led the way around 



138 THE FANATICS 

the house, where Walter could see the low out- 
lines of the outbuildings. 

" You gave us quite a fright ; I may tell you, 
now that I know who you are. Brother is sus- 
pected of Unionist sentiments and has been look- 
ing to be arrested every moment. To-night, we 
took you for a Confederate officer, come to exer- 
cise that unpleasant commission, and it was he 
who must have frightened off your horse as he 
rode away. He's on Blue Grass, and if your 
horse keeps up with him, they're farther away 
now than you would care to follow." 

During the last words she was unlocking the 
barn door. Then she handed the lantern to 
Walter, and called softly, " Come, Beth, come." 
A whinny answered her, and she went forward 
and quickly took the halter from a sleek brown 
mare. Walter started in to put the bridle on, 
but the girl waved her hand. 

" No," she said, " I'll do it myself. Beth is my 
own particular pet, and is somewhat averse to 
strangers. You'll have to ride bareback too, as 
there isn't another man's saddle about. But 
she'll carry you safe when she's once on the road, 
and she'll turn in the right gate, for she knows 
the way." 

The young man was stammering his thanks as 
the girl led the horse out. He would have walked 
with her back to the house, but upon an assur- 



A JOUENEY SOUTH 139 

ance that she was not afraid, he leaped to the 
mare's back and was off. 

But it was not written that the object of his 
heart should be so easily obtained. He had 
scarcely gone half way to the crossroads, when 
the ominous word, " Halt ! " sounded again in his 
ears, and several mounted men rose as from the 
road before him. Again, he gave spur to his 
horse, but this time, it was only for a moment 
that he moved, and then he came crash into an- 
other horseman, and felt the cold muzzle of a 
pistol pressed against his face, while a hand 
seized his bridle. 

" Steady, my boy, steady, unless you want to 
get hurt. We don't want to do you any harm, 
but you mustn't move." 

" Are you hurt, sergeant ? " asked a voice from 
the darkness. 

" No, cap'n, not particular. I may be a little 
strained, and this horse may be a little bruised 
up, but I was ready for the shock. I knew the 
youngster was game." 

Just now the man addressed as captain rode 
up. 

" Well, youngster," he said, " we've got a little 
business with you, and I reckon we're just in 
time." 

Walter's head was whirling with the shock of 
his collision and he had a mean pain in the leg 



140 THE FANATICS 

that had struck the other man's saddle. But he 
spoke up hotly. 

" What's the meaning of this outrage ? " he 
asked. " Cannot a man and a Virginian at that, 
ride his own roads in safety by night and by 
day ? " 

"Hoity-toity, not so fast, my young Union 
peacock, not so fast. Any Virginian may go his 
way in Virginia until he becomes dangerous to 
Virginia's cause. Then he comes with us as you 
do." 

" What right have you to take me in this high- 
handed way ? " 

" We needn't bandy words, but I can say that 
we have the right that any state has to arrest 
within its borders any citizen who is suspected 
of working or attempting to work against its 
interest and safety. We have been watching you 
for a long time, Etheridge, and we know what 
your plans are." 

They had been standing for the few moments 
that they talked, but now the company started 
to move off. 

" Stop," cried Walter, as the name was called, 
" whom do you take me for ? " 

"We know who you are," said the captain 
grimly. 

" But my name is not Etheridge, you are mis- 
taken." 



A JOUENEY SOUTH 141 

" What is this, sergeant ? " asked the officer in 
charge of the party and who had done most of 
the talking. 

" I know the horse, captain, it's his sister's." 

" Come on, then, don't delay any further. It's 
no use denying your identity." 

" But I can prove to you that I'm not the man 
you're seeking, nor is this horse mine. Having 
lost my own, I borrowed it at a house a little 
way up the road here." 

" A very likely story." 

"But if there is any one here who knows 
Etheridge, let him look at me and see." 

The sergeant leaned forward and striking a 
match looked into Walter's face. 

"Whew, captain," he whistled, "it's true, 
we've caught the wrong bird. This is not Nel- 
son Etheridge. He's a stranger." 

" Well, who the devil are you ? " asked the 
captain shortly. " Strangers without credentials 
are not very welcome about here these times." 

"My name is Walter Stewart, and my father 
is Colonel Stewart who lives about two miles 
from here." 

" Stewart — Walter Stewart, hurrah, boys ! " 
cried the captain, " we've lost one good bird but 
caged another ! This is Colonel Stewart's 
Yankee soldier son. You'll do, come on." 

" But, captain, I'm not in the service now, and 



142 THE FANATICS 

my father is dying. A few minutes' delay may 
keep me from ever seeing him alive." 

" I am sorry," was the captain's reply, " but 
you have been a Union soldier. We take you 
leaving a suspected house, and find you as you 
tacitly admit within our lines and without cre- 
dentials. It may be hard for you, but you are our 
prisoner." 

" Yery well, but cannot I be paroled at once ? 
If necessary, send a soldier with me to my house, 
and keep me under guard." 

The captain halted. " I know your father," he 
said coldly, "and he is a brave man and a South- 
ern gentleman who has not forsaken the South. 
For his sake, I will do as you say, even though I 
exceed my authority. I will send two men with 
you. You will remain under guard until I secure 
your parole, if that may be done." 

" I thank you," said Walter. 

" Sergeant Davis ! " The sergeant saluted. 

" You and Private Wilkins will take charge of 
the prisoner. When his parole has been secured, 
you will be relieved. Until then, the closest 
vigilance." 

" I am a soldier and a gentleman," said Walter 
calmly. 

The officer vouchsafed no answer, but with his 
remaining associates spurred on into the darkness, 
leaving the prisoner to ride away with his captors. 



CHAPTEE XIII 

A STEWAET COMES TO HIS OWN 

As Walter approached his father's house, he 
saw lights moving about in the upper chambers, 
and he began to fear the worst. 

" Have you heard any news of my father ? " 
he asked the sergeant. 

"None, except that he is a pretty sick man 
and not expected to last long." 

" How did. the captain and all of you come to 
know about me ? " 

" The servants will talk and it's few family 
secrets they don't know and tell. Your father 
invested in some niggers as soon as he got here 
in order to show his contempt for the Yankees' 
invasion, but they're too new to have any of the 
family pride that the old ones used to have. 
Why an old family servant would rather die 
than tell any of the happenings at the big house, 
but these darkies of your father's have blown his 
business broadcast." 

Walter shivered at the man's tone and his 
revelations. 

143 



144 THE FANATICS 

In order not to alarm the house unduly they 
dismounted at the gate and left the private to 
lead the horses around to the stables while the 
sergeant went with Walter. Their ring brought 
a servant to the door, who stood in white-eyed 
astonishment as he saw the young man, worn 
and haggard with anxiety and beside him, an 
officer in grey. 

" Wy> w'y, gent'men, dis hyeah's a confede'ate 
house." 

" Shut up and let us in. Make as little stir as 
possible, and bring my mother to the parlor. 
Sergeant, this will be a family meeting." 

" You know my orders, sir." 

"I do, and I am enough of a soldier not to 
want you to disobey them ; but I prefer seeing 
my family alone. Examine the room where I 
shall talk with my mother, and have the places 
of egress guarded. I think the windows let out 
on a veranda." 

" There may be more than one outlet, and I 
have not enough men to guard them if there is." 

" You forget, sergeant," said Walter haughtily, 
" that I am a soldier and a gentleman." 

"I'm not much of either yet," returned the 
non-commissioned officer calmly, " but I'm learn- 
ing enough of a soldier's business to know how 
to obey orders." 

" You are right," said the younger man blush- 



A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 145 

ing. "Come, let's examine the room together 
and see what dispositions we can make." 

At this period, Private Wilkins came in from 
his errand. They stationed him outside and 
passed into the room. It was a large apartment, 
with three long windows, opening, as Walter had 
surmised, on the veranda. 

" You see," pursued the sergeant, " it's just as 
I said. You have too many places by which to 
leave, though I do not doubt your honor." 

" Let us see," said Walter going to the door. 
" Ah, this will serve you," and he held up a key. 
" Lock this door that shuts off one outlet. One 
of you patrol the veranda and the other hold 
the hall. Will that suit you ? " 

" Perfectly." And the sergeant proceeded to 
do as directed. He stationed Wilkins in the 
hall, and then as he was about to step out upon 
the veranda, turned, and on a sudden impulse, 
saluted the young private as if he were an officer. 

He had hardly left the room, when Mrs. 
Stewart came rushing in. 

" Walter, Walter, my boy ! " 

" Dear little mother." 

" Oh, you are well, you are well, aren't you ? " 

"In body, yes, mother, but — but — am I in 
time ? " 

" Thank God, yes." 

The young man bowed his head and the ges- 



146 THE FANATICS 

ture itself, was a prayer of thanksgiving that God 
understood. 

" I have so much that I want to say to you, 
mother, but take me to him at once. I am 
afraid that it will be too late. You shall have a 
talk with me afterwards." He put his arm af- 
fectionately about his mother's waist. 

" Wait a moment, Walter," she said. " He is 
yet conscious. Oh, Walter, Walter, humor him, 
humor him in his dying moments. Promise, 
whatever he asks." 

" Whatever he asks ? Why, what can he ask ? " 

"Perhaps one great thing. Your father has 
not changed, even in the hands of death." 

" I shall promise what I can without lying." 

(i If necessary, my son, lie, to ease your father's 
heart. Have I ever given you such advice be- 
fore ? Will you do it ? " 

He looked at her fondly for a moment, and 
then answered firmly, "I will lie, if need be. 
Take me to him." 

They started out but Walter turned back to 
call the sergeant. 

" I am going to my father's room," he said. 

" I will come as far as the door," he said, " for 
the rest, I leave that to you. Go on." 

As they passed up the broad steps, Mrs. Stewart 
asked in some agitation, "What does the pres- 
ence of those soldiers mean ? " 



A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 147 

"Don't disturb yourself, mother, but I was 
taken on the way here after I had passed the reb 
— the Confederate lines, and I am a prisoner." 

She grasped him by the arm. " A prisoner ? " 
she gasped. 

"Don't be alarmed," he went on soothingly, 
" I shall be paroled, the captain has as good 
as promised it, and then I shall be here with 
you." 

" That is almost good," she replied, " and you 
will have less to promise." 

The light was turned low in the sick room, and 
a nurse glided out as they entered. Walter's 
sister passed out also, and in passing pressed his 
hand. 

Mrs. Stewart left her son at the door and went 
forward to the bed, a shadowy, gliding form in 
the dim room. 

" Here is Walter," she said softly. 

The sick man opened his eyes, and said 
weakly, but with some of his old coldness, 
" Eaise the light, and let me see him." 

" Father ! " the boy stood over the bed. 

The eyes that even then death was glazing, 
grew brighter as the colonel looked upon his son, 
but the words that he whispered huskily were, 
" Thank God, he does not wear their uniform. 
Walter ! " 

The young man threw his arms about his 



148 THE FANATICS 

father and held him close to his heaving breast. 
His eyes were tearless, but his bronzed face was 
pale and his throat throbbed convulsively. 
" Father, I am so sorry to have grieved you, so 
sorry." 

" You're a Stewart," said the old man weakly, 
but dotingly. " They always were — they always 
were strong-headed. But you won't go back to 
them, will you, Walter ? Will you ? For your 
father's sake, for the sake of Virginia, you won't 
go back to the — Yankees ? " 

" I cannot lie to you, father, now," the filming 
eye formed a new light, and his mother started 
forward. 

"What!" 

" I could not go back to them if I would. I 
was taken on the way here, and am a prisoner in 
the hands of our own people." 

The old man settled back with a glad sigh. 
" This is very good," he said, " very good. They 
can never have your services again. Better a 
prisoner in the camp of our people — our people 
— you said, Walter, than a general of those — 
aliens. JSIow I am content." 

" Would you not better rest now ? " asked his 
son gently. 

" Yes, yes, I will rest," and he relaxed again 
upon his pillow. 

Walter was easing his arms from underneath 



A STEWAET COMES TO HIS OWN 149 

the grey head, when the muscles of the dying 
man took on strength again. His eyes opened. 

" Would you," he said almost fiercely, " would 
you go back to them again if you could ? " 

Walter cast one agonizing look at his mother's 
appealing eyes, then he answered firmly, " No, 
father, not if I could." 

His father smiled. " I knew it," he murmured. 
" He is a Stewart, and a Stewart must come back 
to his own. Now I shall rest." 

He sank into a soft slumber, and mother and 
son left the room on tiptoe. 

" Come, you will go and see Emily now," said 
his mother. 

" Let them come to my room," he said, " wher- 
ever you have placed me. We must make it as 
easy for Sergeant Davis as possible." 

The morrow proved that the colonel had been 
right. He had rested, and the rest was one that 
should be eternally unbroken. 

As soon as he found that the home was a place 
of death and mourning, the sergeant, be it said 
to his credit, relaxed some of his vigilance, and 
Walter was allowed to attend to the duties con- 
nected with his father's funeral with greater 
freedom. The same day, his parole was granted, 
and the house given over again to privacy. 

In spite of a natural sorrow for his father's 
loss, Walter felt a sense of peace, even joy, at 



150 THE FANATICS 

the reconciliation. The words, "Now I shall 
rest," rang in his head with soothing cadence. 
It was so much better this way than that his 
father should have gone from him in anger and 
reproach. 

The joy Walter felt in coming back into the 
family circle proved how much his heart must 
have been hungering for it. Drawn by a strong 
enthusiasm for what he deemed the right, he had 
gone off into the wilderness to face death. But 
he had not ceased to look back with longing 
eyes towards the fiesh-pots of Egypt. Being back 
to them, he was not prone to question why he 
came. The fact in itself, was sufficiently preg- 
nant of content. Somehow, he did not feel 
ashamed of the satisfaction he felt in having the 
parole solve a vexing problem. He had lied to 
his father, had he not, in saying that he would 
not go back if he could ? And then, he began to 
quibble with himself. Had he lied, after all? 
Was it not merely the premature assertion of a 
condition of mind that was to be ? Would he go 
back if he could ? He was not sure. His father 
had called him a Stewart, and that meant much. 
It was sweet to be there, with his own family, in 
the great old place. Going to the window, his 
eyes swept the surrounding landscape with rest- 
ful satisfaction. 

There was the broad sweep of lawn, and across 



A STEWART COMES TO HIS OWN 151 

that, rugged against the sky, the dark row of 
outbuildings, the kitchen, the stables and the 
negro cabins, and beyond that, the woods. It 
was fine and manorial, and appealed to the some- 
thing in Walter which is in every Anglo-Saxon, 
the love of pomp and circumstance and power. 
After all, it was for this he had been dragged 
from the camp and from the hardships of war, 
and was it not a pleasant change ? Fate had 
been kind to him. There were many young 
fellows who would envy him, so why should he 
repine ? 

While he was still in the midst of his medita- 
tions, his mother came into the room. 

" Brooding again ? " she said. " You must not 
do this, my son." 

He blushed and raised his hand in protest, but 
his mother went on, " I know you were influenced 
by a strong principle, my son, a principle so 
deeply rooted that you were willing to give up 
everything for it, and you are longing to be back 
again. But yours are, after all, only the common 
fortunes of war." 

The young man's face was burning, and all the 
thoughts that had just passed through his mind 
came surging back in an accusing flood. He saw 
that he had weakened on the side of his affec- 
tions, and that for a little while he had put home 
and ease and mother-love before the cause for 



152 THE FANATICS 

which he had once been so hot. His shame 
seethed in his face. 

" You know what I told father," he said, " that 
I would not go back if I could ? " 

" Yes, yes, I know, and I understand what the 
falsehood cost you, but weighed against what it 
brought to your father and me, it seems justifi- 
able. Why, Walter, don't you see that even a 
lie that softens a father's deathbed is a noble 
sacrifice ? " 

" I should feel the better if it were that 
way, but it is not a lie. It is coming to be 
true." 

" Your heart is really coming over to the 
South?" 

" Not to the South so much as to you and 
Emily and home and father's memory." 

" Walter, Walter," she cried, embracing him, 
" this is nothing to hang your head about ; this 
is true nobility ! " 

Her mother-love blinded her sight to his moral 
defection, but he saw and saw clearly, and was 
ashamed. 

" It is strange," Mrs. Stewart mused, " how 
things have balanced. If the South has gained an 
adherent in you, the North has just taken one of 
Virginia's own sons." 

" What do you mean ? " 

" The news came to us this morning that Nel- 



A STEWAKT COMES TO HIS OWN 153 

son Etheridge has not returned, but has gone over 
to the Union lines." 

" How do you know that ? " cried Walter, 
starting up. 

" We sent Caesar with the horse this morning." 

" Oh, I wanted to take it over myself and 
thank Miss Etheridge in person." 

" You will have many chances to thank her," 
said his mother. "She is a great friend of 
Emily's and is often here." 

" I am very glad," he stammered, " that is, on 
Emily's account." 

When his mother left him, he too, went from 
the room, and sought the room where his father 
lay. He drew back the cloth and looked at the 
calm face, as stern and white as a figure in mar- 
ble. Even in death, the lips had found their old 
line of compression, and the chin had not lost its 
decision. 

" Oh, my father," said Walter, " I am a 
weaker man than you, but I am more your son 
than I knew." He replaced the cloth and went 
sadly away. 

The funeral of Colonel Stewart was a piteous 
affair. The remnants of the families about came 
to pay their respects to the dead. But mostly, 
they were women or old men. The army had 
taken the rest. The clergyman who conducted 
the services wore the grey under his gown, and 



154 THE FANATICS 

as soon as his work was done, left his vestments 
and rode back to the regiment of which he was 
chaplain. 

People looked askance at Walter or did not 
look at him at all. To them, he had the shame 
of being a Unionist on parole, but within him 
there was a greater shame — that he was neither 
with them nor against them. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE CONTRABANDS 

It was now that a new unpleasantness began 
to harass the already burdened people of Ohio. 
The decree of General Butler making all slaves 
who came into camp contraband of war, affected 
the negroes not only in his immediate vicinity, 
but wherever there was a Union camp. Drunk 
with the dream of freedom, at the first intimation 
of immunity, they hastened to throw off their 
shackles and strike for the long-coveted liberty. 
Women, children, young, able-bodied men and 
the feeble and infirm, all hastened towards 
the Union lines. Thence, it was usually an easy 
matter, or at least, one possible of accomplish- 
ment, to work their way North to the free 
states. 

Hardly a camp, hardly a column in which the 
officers were not reputed vigorously to oppose 
the admission of slaves but presented a strange 
and varied appearance. In the rear, but keeping 
close to their saviors always, straggled a lot of 
half-clad, eager negroes of all ages and conditions, 

155 



156 THE FANATICS 

bearing every conceivable form of movable 
property — bags, bundles, bedclothes, cooking 
utensils, and even an occasional calf or sheep 
trailed along. Many, indeed, found employment 
as the servants of officers, where their traditional 
qualifications as cooks or valets came into full 
play. But for the most part, they simply hung 
on, worrying and embarrassing the soldiers with 
their importunities, sickening and dying from 
fatigue and exposure, and conducting themselves 
altogether, like the great, helpless, irresponsible 
children that they were. 

To those, who only a few years ago, primed 
with the prejudices of their masters, had looked 
upon the Yankees as monsters, there had come a 
great change, and every man who wore the blue 
had become as God's own vicegerent. They had 
been told that the Yankees had horns, and many 
of them believed it, but on contact, the only horn 
that they had found was the horn of plenty, and 
their old faith in their masters' infallibility died. 

They were not all a burden, though. In the 
gloom of the dark hours, their light-heartedness 
cheered on the march ; their pranks, their hymns 
and their ditties made life and light. Through 
the still watches of the night, the lonely sentinel 
on his beat, heard their singing and sometimes 
he thought of home with a choking at his throat, 
and had a vision of a tender mother singing to 



THE CONTRABANDS 157 

the babe upon her breast, and he looked up to 
the stars, and was alone no more. 

The poor blacks, wandering in the darkness of 
their ignorance were as frightened children in the 
night. They had lost faith in their masters, but 
it was not lost to them entire, only transferred 
to these new beings, who mastered them by the 
power of love. Is it any wonder that they 
shouted and sang, and that often their songs 
were " Out of Old Egypt," " De Promised Lan'," 
and " Go Down Moses " ? 

One of the principal songs they sang, ran thus, 
a low minor melody at first, then breaking in 
the improvisation into a joyous shout : 

11 In Egypt I sang a moun'ful song, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd; 
Dey said yo' bondage won't be long, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd. 
Dey preached an' dey prayed, but de time went on, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd; 
De night was black w'en dey talked of dawn, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd: 
We fought 'twas day in de lightin' flash, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd, 
But night come down wid de mastah's lash, 

Oh, Lawd, de life was ha'd." 

And, then, some clear voice would break into 
further improvisation, 

" But de Yankees come and dey set us free, 
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now, 



158 THE FANATICS 

De Yankee man is de man fu' me, 
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now — 

He gi' me braid an' he gi' me meat, 
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now, 

Eatin' nevah did seem so sweet, 
T'ank Gawd, hit's bettah now." 



For them it was better now, though they toiled 
and struggled and fell by the wayside. The ab- 
stract idea of freedom which they did not yet 
understand, had become a fetich to them. And 
over the burning sands, or through the winter's 
snow where they trudged with bleeding feet, 
they kept their stalwart faith in it. They were 
free at last, and being free, no evil thing could 
hurt them. 

It was strange that most of them should not 
have become discouraged and gone back to the 
fleshpots still in Egypt. The Union officers did 
not understand these great children who flocked 
so insistently about their heels. Some were 
harsh to them, and others who would have been 
kind, did not know how. But they staid on and 
on, clinging to the garments of the army, going 
from camp to camp, until they swept like a plague 
of locusts into some Northern town. 

Ohio, placed as she was, just on the border of 
the slave territory, was getting more than her 
share of this unwelcome population, and her 
white citizens soon began to chafe at it. Was 



THE CONTKABAJSTDS 159 

their free soil to become the haven for escaped 
negroes ? Was this to be the stopping ground 
for every runaway black from the South ? Would 
they not become a menace to the public safety ? 
Would they not become a public charge and 
sorely strain that generosity that was needed to 
encourage and aid the soldiers in the field? 
These and a thousand such conjectures and ques- 
tions were rife about the hapless blacks. The 
whole gamut of argument that had been used in 
'49, '50 and '51 was run again. The menace of 
Maryland with her free negroes was again held 
up. The cry rose for the enforcement of the 
law for the restriction of emancipated negroes, 
while others went to the extreme of crying for 
the expulsion of all blacks from the state. 

Since 1829, there had been a gradual change 
for the better in the attitude of Ohio towards 
her colored citizens, but now, all over the state, 
and especially in the southern counties and towns 
there had come a sudden revulsion of feeling, 
and the people rose generally against the possi- 
bility of being overwhelmed by an influx of run- 
away slaves. Their temper grew and ominous 
mutterings were heard on every side. The first 
great outburst of popular wrath came when 
negro men began offering themselves for mili- 
tary service, and some extremists urged the 
policy of accepting them. 



160 THE FANATICS 

"Take them," said the extremists, "and you 
break the backbone of the South's power. While 
the Southern men are in the field, fighting against 
the government their negro slaves are at home 
raising supplies for them, and caring for their 
families. When we enlist them, whom have 
they to leave for such duties ? " 

But all the North held up its hands and cried, 
" What, put black men beside our boys to fight ? 
Let slaves share with them the honor and glory 
of military service ? Never ! " 

The army itself hurled back its protest, " We 
are fighting for the Union ; we are not fighting 
for niggers, and we will not fight with them." 

From none of the states came a more pro- 
nounced refusal than from Ohio. She had set 
her face against men of color. What wonder 
then, that their coming into the state aroused all 
her antagonistic blood ? Here, for the time, all 
party lines fell away, and all the people were 
united in one cause — resistance to the invasion 
of the black horde. It was at this time that 
Butler's proclamation struck through the turmoil 
like a thunderbolt, and the word " Contraband " 
became a menace to the whites and a reproach 
to the blacks. 

The free blacks of Dorbury themselves, took it 
up, and even before they could pronounce the 
word that disgusted them, they were fighting 



THE CONTRABANDS 161 

their unfortunate brothers of the South as vigor- 
ously as their white neighbors. " Contraband " 
became the fighting banter for black people in 
Ohio. But the stream kept pouring in. In spite 
of resistance, abuse and oppression, there was a 
certain calm determination about these fugitive 
slaves that was of the stuff that made the Puri- 
tans. As far North as Oberlin and Cleveland, 
they did not often make their way. If it was 
their intention to stop in Ohio at all, they usually 
ended their journey at the more Southern towns. 
"While the spirit in the Northern towns was 
calmer, it was, perhaps, just as well that they 
were not overrun. In Cleveland, especially, nu- 
merous masters of the south, averse to making 
slaves of their own offspring, had colonized their 
discarded negro mistresses and their illegitimate 
offspring, and these people, blinded by God knows 
what idea of their own position, in the eyes of 
the world, had made an aristocracy of their own 
shame. 

In Dorbury, the negro aristocracy was not one 
founded upon mixed blood, but upon free birth 
or manumission before the war. Even the 
church, whose broad wings are supposed to cover 
all sorts and conditions of men, turned its face 
against the poor children of a later bondage. 

After much difficulty, the negro contingent in 
Dorbury had succeeded in establishing a small 



162 THE FANATICS 

house of worship in an isolated section known as 
" the commons." Here, according to their own 
views, they met Sunday after Sunday to give 
praise and adoration to the God whom they, as 
well as the whites, claimed as theirs, and hither, 
impelled by the religious instincts of their race, 
came the contrabands on reaching the town. But 
were they received with open arms ? No, the 
God that fostered black and white alike, rich and 
poor, was not known to father these poor fugi- 
tives, so lately out of bondage. The holy portals 
were closed in their faces, and dark-skinned pas- 
tors, not yet able to put the " H " in the educa- 
tional shibboleth, drew aside their robes as they 
passed them. 

Opposition was even expressed to their fellow- 
ship with the Christian body. It reached its 
height when, on a memorable Sunday — a quar- 
terly meeting day in fact, three families of the 
despised, presented themselves for membership 
in the Wesley an chapel. The spirit had been 
running high that day, and there had been much 
shouting and praising the Lord for his goodness. 
But at this act of innocent audacity, the whole 
tone of the meeting changed. From violent joy, 
it became one of equally violent anger and con- 
tempt. These outcast families seeking God, had 
stepped upon the purple robes of these black aris- 
tocrats, and they were as one for defiance. 



THE CONTKABANDS 163 

One aged woman, trembling with anger and 
religious excitement, tottered up, and, starting 
for the door, hurled this brief condemnation of 
the culprits who dared desire membership in her 
church : " Wy, befo' I'd see dis chu'ch, dis chu'ch 
dat we free people built give up to dese conter- 
bands, I'd see hit to' down, brick by brick." 

She hurried down the stairs, and a number fol- 
lowed her. But some stayed to remonstrate with 
the unreasoning contrabands. They were told 
to form a church of their own and to worship to- 
gether. 

" But," said their spokesman, who had preached 
down on the plantation, " why n't we jes' ez well 
wo'ship wid you ? We's all colo'ed togethah." 

The pastor tried in vain to show them the dif- 
ference between people who had been freed three 
or four years before and those just made free, but 
somehow, the contraband and none of his com- 
pany could see it, and the meeting was broken up. 
The rejected Christians, seeking their poor shan- 
ties in amazement, and the aristocrats gathering 
to talk among themselves over the invasion of 
their temple. 

With both white and black against them, it 
could not be long before the bad feeling against 
these poor people must break out into open at- 
tack. Theirs was a helpless condition, but they 
were not entirely alone. In all the town, they 



164 THE FANATICS 

had no stronger friend than Stephen Yan Doren. 
A Southerner by birth and education, he under- 
stood these people, who had for two centuries 
been the particular wards of the South. While 
he had no faith in the ultimate success of the 
Union arms, and believed that all these blacks 
must eventually go back into slavery whence they 
had come, yet he reasoned that they were there, 
and such being the case, all that was possible, 
ought to be done for them. 

The negroes were quick to recognize a friend, 
and his house soon became the court to which 
they took all their grievances. He had been 
keeping indoors, but now he began to circulate 
among his Southern friends, and to do what he 
could to help his poor proteges. 

It was then that the first inklings of a contem- 
plated attack upon them came to his ears. Some 
of the citizens of Dorbury, inspired by the public 
spirit which barroom speeches arouse, had de- 
termined to rise and throw off the stigma of ne- 
gro invasion. The embers of the people's passions 
had long smouldered, and when a pseudo-poli- 
tician in the glow of drink had advised them to 
rise and drive the black plague beyond their 
borders, they had determined to do so. 

The conduct of the whole matter had been put 
into the hands of Eaymond Stothard, for the 
politician declined to lead such an assault, upon 



THE CONTKABANDS 165 

the plea that it was hardly the proper thing for 
a man who aspired to the legislature. 

Stothard was chosen, first, because he was the 
brother of the prosecuting attorney, which would 
give the movement prestige, and next, because he 
was capable of doing anything when he was 
drunk. He usually was drunk or becoming so. 
He was drunk when he made the speech which 
instantly made him the leader of the aggressive 
movement. 

" Gen'lemen," he said, " you all know me, and 
you know that I ain't the man to try to lead you 
into an unjust fight, now am I ? " He was al- 
most plaintive and the crowd about him cried, 
" No, no ! " 

" Thank you," he went on, swaying at his 
table. " Thanks, I'm glad to see that you per — 
preciate my motives. You all know my brother, 
he's a straight — straight man, ain't he ? You all 
know Philip Stothard. JSTow I'm a peaceable 
man, I am. But to-night, I say our rights and 
liberties are being invaded, that's what they are. 
All the niggers in the South are crowding in 
on us, and pretty soon, we won't have a place to 
lay our heads. They'll undercharge the laborer 
and drive him out of house and home. They 
will live on leavings, and the men who are eat- 
ing white bread and butter will have to get down 
to the level of these black hounds. 



166 THE FANATICS 

" I don't like 'em, anyhow. None of us like 
'em. The whole war is on their account. If it 
hadn't been for them, we'd have been friends 
with the South to-day, but they've estranged us 
from our brothers, rent the country asunder, and 
now they're coming up here to crowd us out of 
our towns. Gentlemen, I won't say any more. 
It shall never be said that Ray Stothard was in- 
strumental in beginning a revolt against law and 
order. My brother's prosecuting attorney, you 
know, and we stand for the integrity of the law. 
But if I had my way, I'd take force, and clear 
this town of every nigger in it. Gentlemen, drink 
with me." 

His final remark was the most eloquent plea 
he could have made. The gentlemen drank with 
Mr. Stothard and voted his plan for saving their 
homes and workshops a good one. 

One man in passing had heard the sound of 
speechmaking within, and out of idle curiosity 
had paused at the saloon door in time to hear 
Stothard's stirring remarks. Stephen Yan Doren 
listened with horror to what the drunken rowdy 
proposed, and then went with all speed to his 
brother. 

" You're too sensible a man, Yan Doren," said 
the prosecuting attorney, " to believe that I have 
anything to do with this matter or would coun- 
tenance it. But I can do nothing whatever with 



THE COOTKABANDS 167 

this brother of mine ; there is only one thing to 
do, and that is to warn the negroes." 

" They are not used to fighting for themselves. 
They would be as helpless as children and could 
be killed like sheep in a pen." 

" They have their freedom, taken as you and I 
both believe, illegally, let them rise to the occa- 
sion which liberty demands," and so the lawyer 
dismissed the subject, although Van Doren gave 
back the answer that what these blacks had to 
meet was not the result of liberty, but the 
mockery of it. 

Leaving Philip Stothard's house, Stephen Yan 
Doren went his way, torn between conflicting 
opinions as to his duty. "Would he be proving a 
traitor to his fellow-citizens if he told the ne- 
groes of the designs against them? But were 
these men of the lowest social stratum, loafers, 
ignoramuses and fanatics his fellow-citizens ? 
Was it not right that these poor fellows, slaves 
as they had been, and would be again doubtless, 
should be allowed the chance of defending them- 
selves against assault ? He argued with himself 
long and deeply that night, and in the end he de- 
cided that the blacks must be warned. He did 
not know when the attack would take place. 
Indeed, he felt sure that it would wait upon in- 
spiration and opportunity, but the intended 
victims could be put upon their guard and then 



168 THE FANATICS 

be left to look out themselves. He could do no 
more. Perhaps he had already done too much. 

On the morrow, he saw some of the blacks, 
and after cautioning them to secrecy as to what 
they should hear, told them of their danger. 
They heard him with horror and lamentation 
They were bitterly disappointed. Was this the 
freedom for which they had toiled ? Was this the 
welcome they received from a free state ? They 
already knew how the church had greeted them. 
But they were the more shocked because they 
found out for the first time that politics could be 
as hard as religion. 

One advantage which the negroes were to 
have was that in the sudden passion against their 
race the whites made no distinction as to bond 
or free, manumitted or contraband. This, of 
necessity, drew them all together, and they grew 
closer to each other in sympathy than they had 
yet known. 

The drawing together was not one of spirit 
only, but of fact. They began to have meetings 
at night after the warning, and a code of signals 
was arranged to call all of them together at the 
first sign of danger. 

Meanwhile, Stothard and his confederates, be- 
lieving that all their workings had been done in 
profoundest secrecy, only waited an opportunity 
to strike effectively and finally. 



THE CONTRABANDS 169 

The leader's first open act occurred one day 
when he seemed to have found an audience of 
sympathizers. He was strolling along busy with 
his usual employment of doing nothing, when he 
noticed a crowd gathered at a point upon the 
street that led from the railway station. He 
sauntered towards it, but quickened his pace when 
he found that the centre of the group was a 
small family of black folk who had just arrived 
from some place south of the river. There were 
a father and mother, both verging on old age, a 
stalwart, strong-limbed son, apparently about 
twenty, and two younger children. They were 
all ragged, barefoot and unkempt. They had 
paused to inquire the way to the negro portion 
of the town, and immediately the people, some 
with animosity, some with amusement, had 
gathered around them. 

" What's all this ? " asked the attorney's 
brother, as he reached the group. None of the 
whites vouchsafed him an answer, and he turned 
his attention to the negroes. 

" More niggers," he exclaimed. " Why in hell 
don't you people stay where you belong ? " 

The blacks eyed him in silence. 

" Why don't you answer when I talk to you ? " 
He took a step forward, and the outcasts cowered 
before him, all save the son. He did not move a 
step and there was a light in his eye that was 



170 THE FANATICS 

not good to see. It was the glare of an animal 
brought to bay. Stothard saw it and advanced 
no further, but went on. 

"If I had you across the line, I'd teach you 
manners." The old woman began to cry. 

"We come up hyeah," said the young negro, 
" 'cause we hyeahed it was a free state." 

" It's free for white people, not for niggers." 

" We hyeahed it was free fu' evahbody, dat's 
de reason we come, me an' mammy an' pappy 
an' de chillun. We ain't a bothahin' nobody. 
We jes' wants to fin' some of ouah own people." 

" There's enough of your people here now, and 
too many, and we don't want any more. You'd 
better go back where you come from." 

" We cain't go back thaih. Hit's been a long 
ways a comin', an' we's 'bout wo' out." 

" That's none of our business ; back you go. 
Gentlemen, unless we put our foot down now, 
we shall be overrun by these people. I call you 
to act now. Turn them back at the portals of 
the city. Ohio as a state and Dorbury as a town 
does not want these vagabonds." 

Unseen by Stothard, another man attracted by 
the gathering had joined the crowd, and now his 
voice broke the silence. " Who made you, Ray 
Stothard, the spokesman for the people of 
Ohio?" 

The aristocratic loafer turned to meet the eye 



THE CONTRABANDS 171 

of Stephen Van Doren, and his face went red in 
a second. 

" I don't know what right you've got to speak, 
Yan Doren, you've done everything you could to 
hurt the Union." 

" It is to the Union's greatest discredit that it 
has such men as you on its side." 

" So you're in favor of letting the niggers over- 
run the town ? " 

" I'm in favor of fair play, and I intend to help 
these people find their fellows." 

" Humph, what are you anyhow ? First a 
copperhead, then a rebel, then the champion of 
contrabands. You're neither fish, flesh, fowl nor 
good red herring." 

" Whatever I may be, I'm not a conspirator." 
Stothard blanched at the word. "Nor," went 
on the old man, "am I a barroom orator and 
leader of ruffians. Come, boys," he said address- 
ing the negroes, and they grinned broadly and 
hopefully at the familiar conduct and manner of 
address of the South which they knew and loved. 
Away they went behind Yan Doren. 

" Go on, Steve Yan Doren," Stothard crowed 
after the old man like a vanquished cock. " But 
you may have more work to do before you get 
through with your nigger pets." 

" All right," was the sturdy answer. " When- 
ever you and your hounds come for me, you'll 



172 THE FANATICS 

find me waiting, and by heaven, you'll leave me 
weightier men by a few ounces than you've ever 
been before." 

The younger man attempted to raise a jeer as 
the other man passed down the street. But the 
crowd refused to join him. There was something 
too majestic in the carriage of the old copper- 
head. He commanded an inevitable, if reluctant 
respect. The same independent habit of thought 
and sturdy disregard of consequences that made 
him a copperhead, made him a friend to these 
poor helpless blacks. 

Stothard, however, was not done. He was in- 
flamed with anger at his defeat and the shame 
put upon him. He hurriedly left the crowd, and 
went at once to the rendezvous of his confeder- 
ates. All that day and night he harangued 
them as they came in one by one, setting before 
them the alleged dangers of the case, and paint- 
ing the affair of the afternoon in lurid colors. 
By midnight, drunken men who mistook intoxi- 
cation for patriotism, talked solemnly to each 
other of the " Black invasion," and shook hands 
in the unity of determination to resent this at- 
tack upon the dignity of the state. 

All the next day there was an ominous quiet 
in Dorbury. Men who had no other occupation 
than lounging about the courthouse corner and 
in the barrooms were not to be seen. There 



THE CONTRABANDS 173 

were no violent harangues in the livery stables 
and groceries. Mr. Raymond Stothard was not 
out. 

About dusk the clans began to gather. One 
by one they came from their holes and hiding- 
places and made their way to the rendezvous. 
Over their drinks, they talked in whispers and 
the gaslight flared on drawn, swollen, terrible 
faces. Their general had found the wherewithal 
to buy liquor and he plied them well. 

Meanwhile on old McLean street, where stood 
the house of one of Dorbury's free black citi- 
zens another gathering equally silent, equally 
stealthy and determined was taking place. The 
signal had gone forth, the warning had been re- 
ceived and free negro and contraband were 
drawing together for mutual protection. Not a 
word was spoken among them. It was not the 
time for talk. But they huddled together in the 
half -lit room and only their hard, labored breath- 
ing broke the silence. To the freemen, it meant 
the maintenance of all that they had won by 
quiet industry. To the contrabands, it meant 
the life or death of all their hopes of manhood. 
Now all artificial lines were broken down, and 
all of them were brothers by the tie of necessity. 
Contraband and the man who a few days ago 
had looked down upon him with supreme con- 
tempt, now pressed shoulder to shoulder a com- 



174 THE FANATICS 

mon grejness in their faces, the same black dread 
in their hearts. In the back room sick with 
fear, waited the women and children. Upon the 
issue of the night depended all that they had 
prayed for. Was it to be peace and home or 
exile and slavery ? Their mother hearts yearned 
over the children who clustered helpless about 
their feet. " If not for us, God, for these, our 
little ones," they prayed. Their minds went 
back to the plantation, its pleasures and its pains. 
They remembered all. There had been the 
dances and the frolics, and the meetings, but 
these paled into insignificance before the memory 
of the field, the overseer and the lash. Often, 
oh, too often, they had bared their backs to the 
cruel thongs. Day by day they had toiled and 
sweated under the relentless sun. But must 
these, the products of their poor bodies, do like- 
wise ? Must they too, toil without respite, and 
labor without reward ? They clasped their 
children in their arms with a hopelessness that 
was almost aggression. 

The little black babies that night did not 
know why their mothers hugged them with such 
terrible intensity or hushed them with such fierce 
tenderness when they cried. 

It was nearly midnight when the whisper ran 
round the circle in the front room, " They are 
coming, they are coming ! " and the men drew 



THE CONTRABANDS 175 

themselves closer together. The sound of the 
shuffling of many feet and the noisy song of a 
drunken mob awoke the echoes of the quiet 
street. Then, of a sudden, the songs ceased as if 
some authoritative voice had compelled silence. 
Nearer and nearer moved the feet, softer now, 
but with drunken uncertainty. They paused at 
the gate. The lock , clicked. The men within 
the room were tense as bended steel. Then 
came a thunderous knock at the door. No 
answer. 

There was a pause, and apparently a silent 
conference. The rioters had sought several other 
suspected houses, the chapel among them, and 
found them empty. Here then, was the place 
which they had definitely settled as the negroes' 
stronghold. 

" Open in the name of the law," came a voice. 

The blacks huddled closer together. Then 
came a blow upon the door as from the stock of 
a gun. 

" Gently," said the voice, " gently." But the 
spirit of violence having once been given rein 
could not be controlled, and blow after blow 
rained upon the none too strong door, until it 
yielded and fell in with a crash. But here, the 
mob found themselves confronted by a surprise. 
Instead of a cowering crowd of helpless men, 
they found themselves confronted by a solid 



176 THE FANATICS 

black wall of desperate men who stood their 
ground and fought like soldiers. At first, it was 
fist, stave, club and the swift, silent knife, and 
only the gasp of forced breath and the groan of 
some fallen man told that the terrible fight went 
on. Then a solitary shot rang out, and the fusil- 
lade began. The blacks began to retreat, be- 
cause they had few weapons, putting their 
women-folks behind them. Gradually, the white 
horde poured into the room and filled it. 

" JSow, boys," said Stothard's voice from the 
rear, " rush them ! " and he sprang forward. But 
a black face confronted him, its features distorted 
and its eyes blazing. It was the face of the con- 
traband boy whom he had abused the day be- 
fore. A knife flashed in the dim light, and in a 
moment more was buried in the leader's heart. 
The shriek, half of fear, half of surprise which 
was on his lips, died there, and he fell forward 
with a groan, while the black man sped from the 
room. The wild-eyed boy who went out into 
the night to be lost forever, killed Stothard, not 
because he was fighting for a principle, but be- 
cause the white man had made his mother cry 
the day before. His ideas were still primitive. 

The rout of the negroes was now complete, 
and they fled in all directions. Some ran away, 
only to return when the storm had passed ; 
others, terrified by the horror of the night, went, 



THE COOTBABANDS 177 

never to return, and their homes are occupied in 
Dorbury to-day by the men who drove them 
from them. 

The whites, too, had had enough, and their 
leader being killed, they slunk away with his 
body into the night which befriended them. 



CHAPTER XV 

LICENSE OE LIBERTY 

In the days that ensued after the mustering 
out of Tom's regiment neither he nor Dorbury 
had time for idleness. The events attending the 
conflict both in the field and at home had fol- 
lowed each other too swiftly for that. Tom 
had found military service under the government 
in a capacity that gave him larger experience in 
the world of men. His letters had given his 
father exceeding joy and Mary and Nannie were 
inordinately proud of him. His messages to 
them were read over and over again as the girls 
prepared themselves for sleep or sat half-robed 
upon their bedsides. 

The gossips had still spared the brother the 
story of the breaking up of his home and he 
went on with his work happy in his unconscious- 
ness. When the final reorganization of the First 
took place in November, he relinquished his 
other duties and joined his comrades at Louis- 
ville, whence they set out on their journey fur- 
ther South. 

178 



LICENSE OR LIBERTY 179. 

In the meantime, Dorbury had continued to 
seethe as before, with the conflicting elements 
within its narrow borders. Patriotism and prej- 
udice ran riot side by side, and it was a hard race 
between them. One set of men talked of the 
glory of righteous war, while another deplored 
the shedding of fraternal blood. The war Re- 
publicans hurled invectives at the peace advo- 
cates, and the latter hurled back invectives and 
reproaches. 

Before the First went back into the field an 
incident occurred which showed the temper of 
both parties. A meeting was being held in the 
square in front of the courthouse. Its object 
was to protest against what the opponents of the 
war called the attempted coercion of free citi- 
zens. Mr. Vallandigham, whose position, both 
as a prominent citizen and former congressman 
gave weight to whatever he said, had spoken and 
the hearts of his hearers were inflamed with bit- 
terness. Another speaker, half-hearted and 
little trusted rose to address the assembly. He 
was a fiery demagogue and depended for his in- 
fluence upon his power to work upon the passions 
of the lower element. His audience knew this. 
He knew it, and for an instant, paused in em- 
barrassment. 

Just at that moment, " ISTigger Ed " strolled up 
and joined the crowd. The eye of the orator 



180 THE FANATICS 

took him in, and lighted with sudden inspiration. 
Here was all the text he needed. Raising his 
tall, spare form, he pointed in silence until every 
face was turned upon the negro. Then he said, 
" Gentlemen, it is for such as that and worse that 
you are shedding your brothers' blood." With- 
out another word, he sat down. It was the 
most convincing speech he had ever made. The 
unhappy advent of the negro had put a power 
into the words of a man who otherwise would 
have been impotent. It was the occasion and 
the man to take advantage of it. It may have 
been clap-trap. But in the heated spirit of the 
time, it was a shot that went straight to the 
mark. The crowd began to murmur and then 
broke into hisses and jeers. Rude jests with 
more of anger than humor in them were bandied 
back and forth. 

One side was furious that blood should be 
spilled for such as the negro bell-ringer, while 
the other was equally incensed at being accused 
of championing his cause. 

" ISTigger-stealers ! Abolitionists ! " shouted one. 

" Copperheads ! " shouted the other, while 
some of them tried fruitlessly to explain that 
they had no interest in niggers. 

" He even wears your army cap ! " some one 
cried. " Why don't you give him a gun ? " 

The stentorian voice of Bradford Waters rose 



LICENSE OR LIBERTY 181 

over the storm. " Your friends, the rebels," he 
said, " have got the niggers digging trenches, 
and tilling the fields at home to help them in 
food." 

" Ah, that's their business," was the reply. 

" I don't know that a gun is any better than a 
spade." 

Back and forth the controversy raged, each 
party growing hotter and hotter. Negro Ed 
stood transfixed at the tempest he had raised. 
He looked from face to face but in none of them 
found a friend. Both sides hated him and his 
people. He was like a shuttlecock. He was a 
reproach to one and an insult to the other. 

" Gent'men, gent'men," he began to stammer 
to the men about him who were hustling him. 

" Knock him down, he's been serving the men 
who fought our brothers." 

" Tear off his cap, the black hound, it's the 
same our soldiers wear." 

" Kill him ; if it wasn't for his kind, we'd have 
had no trouble ! " 

" What's he doing here, anyhow ? This is a 
white man's Union. Down with niggers ! " 

And so the bewildered black man was like to 
be roughly handled by both parties, but that an 
opportune interruption occurred. The gavel 
sounded sharp and harsh and some one was 
speaking. 



182 THE FANATICS 

" Let Ed alone," the speaker said. " He has 
done nothing to you. He has rung our bells, 
followed our fires, amused our children and al- 
ways been harmless." 

The crowd began to remember that all this 
was true. 

" He is not his people, nor the father of them. 
The trouble is not with him but with us. It's 
not without, it's within. It's not what he is but 
what we believe." 

Stephen Yan Doren's voice had arrested the 
activities of the mob and they gave him absolute 
attention. In the respite, the negro, glad of his 
release, slipped away with the insulted cap in his 
hand. What he felt is hardly worth recording. 
He was so near the animal in the estimation of 
his fellows (perhaps too near in reality) that he 
could be presumed to have really few mental im- 
pressions. He was frightened, yes. He was 
hurt, too. But no one would have given him 
credit for that much of human feeling. They had 
kicked a dog and the dog had gone away. That 
was all. Yet Ed was not all the dog. His feel- 
ing was that of a child who has tried to be good 
and been misunderstood. He should not have 
felt so, though, for he knew Dorbury and the 
times by an instinct that was truer than con- 
scious analysis, and he should have known, if he 
did not, that the people who mistreated him, were 



LICENSE OE LIBEKTY 183 

not sane and accountable. But the under dog 
does not stop to philosophize about his position. 
So Ed went his way in anger and in sorrow. 

After Yan Doren's interruption, the meeting 
went on in a somewhat more moderate strain, 
though the speeches that were made were bitter 
enough. A new, but vigorous and efficient gov- 
ernor was in the chair, and at times the people 
chafed under the enforcement of measures which, 
in a state of war, he deemed necessary. No great 
disaster had yet come to their own troops to 
unite the people in one compact body, or to make 
them look farther than themselves or their 
fancied personal grievances. The sight of the 
wounded and the news of the dead had not yet 
thrilled them into the spirit for self-sacrifice. 
This was to come later. It was to come when 
the soil of the state was threatened by hostile in- 
vasion ; when Pittsburg Landing had told its 
bloody story, and the gloom of death hung over 
their homes. 

But now all was different. After the first 
enthusiasm for war had passed, a reaction had 
set in. Recruiting went on slowly, while the 
citizens looked on with but languid interest. On 
the other hand, they flamed with anger at every 
hint that their personal rights were being trampled 
on. When men, lacking both honor and loyalty, 
wrote seditious letters ; when others, more earnest 



184 THE FANATICS 

than prudent, talked in the public highways or 
harangued from platforms, it was all free speech, 
the fetich so dear to American worshippers, and 
they resented any attempt to restrain or abridge 
it. ' 

A man might live and work under the flag 
whose soldiers he counselled to desert. That was 
all within his private right. Another might 
assail the motives and powers of the government 
under which he lived, sneer at its chief execu- 
tive, and pour out the vials of his wrath against 
the unholy war which the Union was waging, 
and still, it was only his right. Any attempt to 
check disaffection within its borders was con- 
strued into coercion. Where now and then, 
some too bold speaker was arrested by the au- 
thorities, war Democrat, and peace Democrat 
united in denouncing the act as high-handed and 
unwarranted, and Eepublican joined with them 
or was silent. 

Upon one thing they were all united, and that 
was their hatred and disdain for the hapless race 
which had caused the war. Upon its shoulders 
fell all the resentment and each individual stood 
for his race. If their boys suffered hardships in 
the field, they felt that in some manner they 
avenged them by firing a negro's home or chas- 
ing him along the dark streets as he made his 
way home from church. It became an act of 



LICENSE OR LIBERTY 185 

patriotism to push a black woman from the side- 
walks. 

It only needed the knowledge that free men of 
color had offered their services to the state to 
bring out a storm of invective and abuse against 
the " impudent niggers." There were some who 
expressed fear that the governor might yield to 
their plea, and threatened if he did, that they 
would call their sons and brothers from the 
army, and resent the insult by withholding all 
aid from the Union arms. But they need have 
had no fear of their governor. Strong as he 
was and independent, he was too wise a man not 
to know and to respect the trend of popular 
sentiment, and he heard with unyielding heart 
the prayer of the negroes to be put in the blue. 
But the time did come when the despised race 
was emancipated and they were accepted in the 
field as something other than scullions. The 
time came, yes, but this governor was not one of 
the men who helped to hasten it. It may have 
been his personal feeling, rather than his ac- 
quiescence to the will of the people that prompted 
his reply to the Massachusetts recruiting agent. 
The New England commonwealth was recruit- 
ing her black regiments and was drawing men 
of color from every state. When the chief 
executive of Ohio was consulted, he was so far 
from objecting to the use of his negroes by an- 



186 THE FANATICS 

other state that he expressed himself to the effect 
that he would be glad if they would take " every 
damned nigger out of the state." It may have 
been irritation at the anxiety and annoyance 
that this unwelcome population had caused the 
good governor which brought forth this strong 
expression. Whether it was this or not, the fact 
remains that many black men of Ohio went into 
the Massachusetts regiments, and when they had 
made for themselves a record that shamed con- 
tempt, it was to that state that popular belief 
gave the honor of their deeds. 

This forecasting of events would be entirely 
out of place but that it serves in some manner to 
show the spirit of the times in a loyal and non- 
slaveholding state at a crucial moment of the na- 
tion's life ; it was a moment when only a spark 
was needed to light the whole magazine of dis- 
content and blow doubt and vacillation into a 
conflagration of disloyalty. 

The spark was near being supplied on a Mon- 
day night in May. Upon the flint of Dorbury's 
public pride and prejudice the blow was struck 
and for a time the flash seemed imminent. For 
a long time a brave and rugged citizen of the 
little town, a man having the courage of his con- 
victions and deeply trusted by his fellow-men, 
had been outspoken in his denunciation of the 
war. Wherever he was, he did not fear to ex- 



LICENSE OR LIBERTY 187 

press his belief in its illegality and unrighteous- 
ness. He was a strong man and an earnest one, 
and in his strength and earnestness lay his power 
over his fellow-men. He had represented them 
in Congress and he had done well. They believed 
in him, and now when he dared to say of the 
nation struggling for its very life that it was 
wrong, he found many followers, though some, 
like Bradford Waters, had already fallen from 
Yallandigham's side. For a while, he went his 
way unmolested, until one speech, a thought too 
bold in expression, brought down upon him the 
wrath — a wrath rather restraining than vindic- 
tive — of the government. 

It was near midnight when a small company 
of soldiers from Cincinnati went to the door of 
Vallandigham's Dorbury home. The inmates of 
the house were abed, and all was darkness and si- 
lence. There was no reply to the thunderous sum- 
mons on the panels, some inkling of the object of 
this midnight visit having leaked out or been 
suspected. The summons was repeated and 
while the men talked in low whispers below, a 
head was put out of an upstairs window and a 
voice called aloud some apparently meaningless 
words, which, however, were construed into a 
signal for aid. From this time, the soldiers de- 
layed no longer, for in the present state of feel- 
ing the approach of reinforcements to those 



188 THE FANATICS 

within would possibly result in bloodshed. This 
they were anxious to avoid, so making their way 
into the house they went from room to room, 
frequently having to break open locked and 
barred doors until they found the object of their 
search, and in spite of threat and protest, hur- 
ried away with him to a waiting train. 

A small crowd collected, and followed the sol- 
diers to the station, but with the exception of a 
stone occasionally hurled, it confined itself to 
threats and abuse. 

" This will be heard from," said one. 

" It will do more to make Ohio fight against 
the war than anything else." 

" Kidnappers ! kidnappers ! " was the cry. 

On the morrow the excitement in Dorbury 
was intense, but history has dealt sufficiently 
with all that was done then, with the speeches 
that were made, the bombastic letters that were 
written — the damage that was inflicted upon 
private property. 

The town, iron-clad in its personal pride, gave 
itself up to an orgy of disloyalty. A tempest in 
a teapot, some one will say. But the spirit that 
raged in the teapot showed the temper of the 
larger cauldron which seethed over the same fire. 

" What do you think of this later bit of work ? " 
asked Da vies on the way to the office the morn- 
ing after the arrest. 



LICENSE OR LIBERTY 189 

"I think what I have always thought, that 
whatever is good for the Union is right." But 
his tone was not so assured as usual. 

" You used to think a great deal of Valland- 
igham, though." 

" In such a time as this, I have no time for 
personal feelings. I have said that before." 

" Yes, it seems about true, we all seem to have 
taken leave of our senses and to have suspended 
the operations both of our country's constitution 
and of our natural affections." 

" It is a strange time and we must change with 
the times." 

" It is a horrible, a fanatical time, and I shall 
thank God when it is over, however the end 
may come, through Union or peaceful separa- 
tion." 

" I would rather see the country drenched in 
blood than the latter." 

"Waters," said Davies slowly, as if the light 
were just dawning upon him, " I'm afraid you're 
a fanatic, I'm afraid you're a fanatic." 

But Waters went on moodily and did not 
reply. 



CHAPTER XVI 

DOLLY AND WALTER 

Down there in Virginia, where Walter had 
now settled into staying with a certain self-satis- 
faction, the tides of war flowed with vigor but 
did not reach and submerge the house where he 
kept the even tenor of his days. There were, of 
course, midnight visits at times from the soldiers 
of both sides. But the place enjoyed a peculiar 
exemption from molestation by either Confeder- 
ate or Unionist. To the one, it was the home of 
old Colonel Stewart, an ardent Southerner. To 
the others, it was the place of abode of a paroled 
Union prisoner. Walter's position was anoma- 
lous, and although he was forced into it, he felt 
keenly that he was playing a double role. He 
no longer yearned to be with the Northern 
forces, but would it not be foolish to proclaim 
his defection from the house tops ? The South- 
ern soldiers and his neighbors looked upon him 
as a Unionist chafing at restraint, and they 
laughed at him for a caged bantam. Had their 
surmises been true, he would have scorned their 

190 



DOLLY AND WALTEE 191 

laughter, but as it was, it cut him like a whip, 
because to his shame, what they laughed at, did 
not exist. Nor could he tell them this. They 
would have thought even less of him as a rene- 
gade who changed his allegiance and views under 
the stress of imprisonment. 

Now and then, rather too frequently than he 
cared to own, he felt a thrill of envy for Nelson 
Etheridge, who had flung himself body and soul 
into the Union cause, and from whom he heard 
occasionally when he rode over to see Miss 
Etheridge, or when she and his sister Emily ex- 
changed visits. " Here's a man for you," he 
would say to himself. " One who has not only 
dared, but continues to dare, one who, placed 
as I am placed, would feel the galling bonds of 
his restraint and do something besides feel ridic- 
ulously comfortable." 

Perhaps it was because he was so young — and 
youth takes itself seriously, being in its own eyes 
either God or devil, hero or craven — that Walter 
was so hard upon his own failings. Sometimes, 
however, the truth that his position was not of 
his own seeking, forced itself upon his mind. 
But unwilling to accept this excuse, he ques- 
tioned himself if he were not glad that things 
had turned out as they had. To this he must 
answer yes, and so he fell again to cursing his 
own complacency. 



192 THE FANATICS 

It is not to be supposed, however, that he lived 
constantly in a state of self-condemnation. Other 
moods were frequent and lasting. It took him a 
very short time to fall into the ways of a gentle- 
man farmer, and he took a boyish pleasure in di- 
recting the work of the negroes about the place. 
His moments of greatest happiness were when 
he was riding, about the fields on some duty or 
other, and he would be joined by Emily or Miss 
Etheridge. But his greatest moments of depres- 
sion would follow when he saw, or thought he 
saw, a question or a reproach in the girl's eyes. 

Since his arrival at his father's house, he had 
come to see more and more of this radiant South- 
ern beauty, and a frank friendship had grown up 
between them. Friendship, he called it, for 
cherishing in his heart the memory of his regard 
for Nannie, he did not dream that love could 
touch him. But slowly and reluctantly, he be- 
gan to compare the image in his heart with the 
fair girl at his side and the image suffered. 
Finally, he began to say that Nannie had ap- 
pealed strongly to his boyish fancy, while this 
woman reached his maturer manhood. In spite 
of his self-questionings, Walter failed to see the 
humor implied in the fact that without any great 
moral, mental or spiritual cataclysm, this maturer 
manhood had come to him in a very short time 
after he had looked into Dolly's grey eyes. 



DOLLY AND WALTEK 193 

She often rallied him about their first romantic 
meeting, and she would laugh the most musical 
of laughs as he told her about his trepidation as 
he approached the house. When she forgot her- 
self, and was merry among friends, she had the 
habit of falling into the soft-Southern manner of 
speech. 

" It's right down mean," she said to Walter in 
one of her bantering moods, " that you didn't let 
a body know you were coming. I reckon you 
and my brother Nelson would have had a mighty 
nice time together, but you were entirely too 
startling." 

" If I had known that I was going to find 
friends behind those doors," he bent his gaze 
tenderly upon her, " I should have acted differ- 
ently, knocked easily, or roared me as gently as 
a sucking dove." 

"Poor Nelson, I don't reckon many folks 
would have stayed on and dared capture like he 
did ; but Nelson always was such a daring boy." 

Walter winced. He thought he saw the ques- 
tion in her eyes, and something veiled in what 
she said. 

Did she despise him after all, and only give 
him the semblance of friendship for his sister's 
sake ? The thought made him miserable, al- 
though he never stopped to tell himself what 
logical reason there was for his being miserable, 



194 THE FANATICS 

if the girl whom he had known but a few weeks 
did despise him. 

" The Union has gained a gallant man in your 
brother," he said, because his head was in a 
tumult, and he could not say anything else. She 
did not recognize the commonplaceness of his re- 
mark, however. It was praise for her brother, 
and so, sublime. 

" Oh, I wish you could have known him," she 
went on. " You'd have been sure to love him. 
Don't you know," she said, with a sudden im- 
pulse, " since I've known you, I've always thought 
of you and him in the same company, marching 
and fighting together. I don't care in what uni- 
form, blue or grey. There, there, now," she 
added, gravely, " I've made you feel bad, but 
don't let's think of it. Yours is the fortune of 
war, just as whatever happens to him will be." 

Walter was pale from forehead to lips and it 
was the knowledge of this that checked the girl 
with the belief that she had pained him by touch- 
ing the subject of his detention. 

" I'm afraid you're not a very good Unionist," 
said the young man somewhat recovering him- 
self. 

"I'm a woman, Mr. Stewart, and I reckon 
you're too young to know just what that implies. 
I'm in favor of the Union, because Nelson's 
fighting for it, and he wouldn't do anything that 



DOLLY AND WALTEB 195 

he didn't think was right. But I am a southern 
girl, and I love the South. Now what am I go- 
ing to do? You don't know, though, for it's 
only women who let their affections run against 
principle." 

He gave her a quick, suspicious glance. She 
was unconscious. He was on the rack. 

" It isn't only women," he said. 

" You only say that to be polite, and because 
it's so different with you, but I know better." 

He rose quickly and on the plea of some obli- 
gation moved away, leaving her to Emily's com- 
pany and conversation. 

The rest of the day was a trying time for Wal- 
ter. It was now unmistakable. Dolly Ether- 
idge had seen through him, had seen his weak- 
ness and his defection, and in her contempt for him 
delighted to stab him with her quiet sarcasm. 
What a thing he must be to call forth the girl's 
disgust. How she must look down upon him 
when she compared him with her brother, such a 
brother; and in fancy, he saw Nelson Etheridge 
sweeping the enemy before him to the huzzas of 
a great nation. Well, anyway, Dolly could not 
think less of him than he thought of himself. 

He would rather not have seen her any more 
that night. But he had promised to go with 
Emily to take her home. He appeared at supper 
with the best grace possible, and when it was 



196 THE FANATICS 

over, joined the girls for the ride in the moon- 
light. It would have been pleasant to him, this 
cantering by Dolly's side, with the moon, a silver 
globe above them, and the scent of magnolias 
coming sweetly to their senses, but that his mind 
was sadly busy with what she must be thinking 
of him. He kept a moody silence while the girls 
chattered on. Sometimes, even, in his desper- 
ation, he thought of violating his parole, but his 
face grew hot with shame, and the thought went 
as quickly as it came. 

Dolly and Emily, because they both believed 
Walter immersed in sad thoughts, respected his 
silence, and when he had helped the girl alight 
at her door, and given the horse to a black serv- 
ant aroused from somewhere, the former gave 
him her hand with a little sympathetic pressure 
that made his heart leap. But then, the next 
moment he was saying, "Bah, she is only sorry 
for having stabbed me so cruelly, but the reason 
for the stabbing remains." 

As they turned their horses homeward again, 
Walter seemed in no better mood for talking 
than before. But the moonlight and the sweet- 
ness of the soft night seemed to have got into his 
sister's tongue. She drew her horse close to her 
brother's and laid her hand gently on his. 

" I'm afraid you're not well, to-night, Walter. 
What's the matter ? " 



DOLLY AND WALTEB 197 

" Oh, nothing, nothing. I'm really very well." 

" But you have been so silent, and I really be- 
lieve Dolly expected you to talk to her." 

" I hardly think she could have cared much, 
either one way or the other," he said bitterly. 

"If you can say that, you know very little 
about Dolly, or in fact, about women at all. You 
must know that she likes you, and likes you very 
well." 

" I don't believe it," said Walter doggedly, but 
something he did just at the moment to the horse 
he was riding, made her arch her neck and step 
out as daintily as a lady. 

" But she does like you, and if she didn't, you 
would soon know it. She's very peculiar and as 
open as the day. She can never conceal her 
thoughts and feelings. Some people call it a 
fault, but I call it a virtue." 

" One would think at times that she was sar- 
castic or spoke under a veil." He was making a 
great effort to be indifferent, but the bridle in his 
hand grew tense. 

" Why, she's as innocent of such things as a 
child. How stupid you are, Walter. I never 
knew you to be so before, and I did so hope you 
would be good friends." 

" Well, well, haven't we been ? " 

" It seemed so for awhile, but you were so dif- 
ferent to-night." 



198 THE FANATICS 

" Was I ? Did she notice it ? " The question 
was eager. 

" Being a woman, she could scarcely help notic- 
ing it." 

" Well, I was thinking," he said lamely, and 
then burst out, " What a glorious night it is, 
and how sweet those magnolias are. I didn't 
notice it before. Why, Emily, it's good to be 
alive." 

" One wouldn't have thought it of you a little 
while ago, you were so quiet and subdued." 

" Oh, well, there are times when the beauty of 
a night sinks into our souls too deep for words." 
Walter winced in spirit at his own hypocrisy. 

" There, I told Dolly that you felt more than 
you said." 

" You told her that ? She talks about me to 
you ? " 

" Oh sometimes you come up in the course of 
conversation." 

" What a wonderful girl she is." 

" You — do you think so ? " 

" That is, she shows a deep affection for her 
brother, which is commendable." 

" Oh, — but — don't most sisters ? " 

" There are very few such sisters as I imagine 
Miss Etheridge and know you to be." 

She forgave him instantly. " You dear old 
Walter." 



DOLLY AND WALTER 199 

" And you think she likes me ? " It was sweet 
to him to say it after his bitter thoughts. 

" I know she does, and you should have known 
it too." 

" Her brother must be a fine fellow." 

" You would like him, I know." 

" Let's sit out and talk awhile. It's altogether 
too lovely to go in," said the young man, as they 
turned in at the gate. 

" I shall like it," said Emily, and giving their 
horses to a groom, they sat down on the veranda 
steps. For a few moments there was a silence 
between them, and both sat gazing at the starry 
heavens. Then Walter said falteringly, 

" I — I — really — I am very much interested in 
Miss Etheridge's brother. Tell me more about 
him." 

Then his sister laughed, not teasingly nor ban- 
teringly, as some sisters would have done, but 
with a little satisfied note, and she said, " Brother 
mine, there is only one thing more transparent 
than glass," and her brother caught her about the 
waist, and kissed her for some reason not quite 
clear to himself. So they sat together long that 
night and talked of the Etheridges, brother and 
sister. 

In the young man, his fellow-soldier, Walter 
evinced a polite and conservative interest, but he 
was apt to bring the conversation back to the 



200 THE FANATICS 

sister when it seemed to have a tendency to re- 
main too long away from her. If he found no 
more pertinent remark to make, he would turn 
to Emily and say, " So you think she likes me ? " 
and this was sufficient to start the stream of talk 
flowing in the proper channel. 

When, finally, they sought their rooms that 
night, and the young man dropped asleep, there 
was a smile on his lips, and the words on his 
tongue, " She likes me, she likes me." 



CHAPTEK XYII 

WHEN LOVE STANDS GUAKD 

What surprised Walter when the morning 
brought with waking a review of the night's hap- 
penings, was that Emily, simple Emily, who had 
never had a love affair in her life that he knew, 
should have discovered to him his own secret. 
Or maybe she had discovered nothing that really 
existed at the time. Perhaps the train had been 
laid, the fuse set, and her remark only been the 
match to set the whole agoing. However, it 
made no matter at all how or when it happened. 
It was true. Now to let Dolly know. It was 
remarkable how soon and how easily all his fears 
and misgivings had disappeared. It was as if this 
state of exultation had been waiting for him and 
he had but to step into it. Why had he delayed 
so long ? 

The days that followed were filled with softer 
sounds than the sounds of war, and doings that 
had no shadow or show of the harshness of the 
camp. Walter, dazzled by the glory of the new 
world that had opened up before him, forgot the 

201 



202 THE FANATICS 

hardness of his lot, forgot, perhaps, even the 
deeper sympathy that should have gone from him 
to the men in the field — for love is a jealous mis- 
tress. He walked and rode much with his sweet- 
heart, by the grass-grown bridle paths and under 
the ancient trees. His heart sang a song to hers, 
and hers replied in kind. Emily, like a good sis- 
ter, knew when to be judiciously absent, and 
Dolly understood all that he would say to her 
long before he dared speak. 

It was not until the warm southern November 
was painting the hills and valleys that he told 
her of his love and his hope. 

" It seems, somehow, Dolly, that I have no 
right to speak to you, placed as I am, but what 
am I to do ? The message beats at my heart un- 
til at times I think you must hear it. I love you 
and have loved you from the very first night 
that we met." 

" Are you sure ? " she asked quietly, but with 
just a suspicion of mirth. 

" I was never surer of anything in my life." 

" Did you always know that you loved me ? " 

" I did not always say it to myself as I say it 
now, sometimes tremblingly, sometimes with ex- 
ultation, but I must always have known it, else 
why should your lightest word have had the 
power of making me happy or miserable ? " 

They were walking slowly over the crisp pine 



WHEN LOVE STANDS GUAKD 203 

needles in the copse not far from the house. She 
drew closer to his side, and her hand slipped into 
his. 

"Poor Walter," she said, "I used to make 
you miserable. I never wanted to do that be- 
cause " 

" Because ? " he said eagerly. 

" Because I do love you." 

He took her in his arms and held her close to 
him. His head bowed humbly. 

" What am I to be worthy of this ? " he said at 
last. 

" You are Walter, my Walter, my hero." 

Even in that moment of ecstasy he winced at 
the word hero. He was not of the material of 
which heroes are made and he knew it. But he 
would not shadow their happiness now. Let her 
think well of him if she could. Later, he would 
try to deserve her, and after all, what man is so 
good, so upright as the woman who loves him 
believes ? 

Later, when the deep solemnity of the first 
betrothal had given way to a gayer mood, she 
asked him, " What will my Virginia friends say 
to my marrying a Yankee ? " 

" What can they say when you are more than 
half Yankee yourself ? " 

"I declare I'm not. I'm Southern clear 
through." 



204 THE FANATICS 

He took her hands and laughed down into her 
eyes. "No, you're not. You're just — just a 
woman, and I'm only a man and we're both 
more lovers than anything else, so let your 
friends say what they will," and the answer 
seemed to satisfy her. Walter, himself, was very 
well satisfied, and when two young people are 
perfectly satisfied with themselves and each 
other, the world is shut from their vision, and 
time trips a merry pace. 

" Let us keep our sweet secret for awhile," she 
said when the lengthening shadows warned them 
that it was time even for a lover's tete-a-tete to 
be done. 

" Let us," he assented, " if we can. It seems 
so much more our own, but, can we ? " 

" Oh, I can, I know, and you can of course, for 
it's only women who are untrustworthy with 
secrets." 

" Yes, that's true, but there are secrets and 
secrets. There never was such a one as this be- 
fore, so we have no foundation upon which to 
make a conclusion." 

" You are a goose," she said, and then paid 
him for being one. Walter was right though. 
They went into supper and had not been at table 
five minutes before every one knew. Something 
in their faces or manner or the way they played 
with the food, laughed inconsequently, cast 



WHEN LOYE STANDS GUARD 205 

glances at each other, told more plainly than 
words what had happened. Love had put on 
them his subtle sign. 

Of course, Walter being a man, thought that 
he was carrying off his part with wonderful 
grace and shrewdness. But when Emily teased 
Dolly as they were passing out on the veranda, 
the newly betrothed hid her blushing face and 
cried, " Oh, Emily, how did you know ? " 

It was within a few days after this that re- 
ports began to come to the residents in and about 
Fairfax of the presence of guerillas, foraging and 
marauding bands in the neighborhood and fre- 
quently greatly exaggerated accounts were given 
of their depredations. Walter heard them all 
with a sinking at the heart for the safety of his 
betrothed. She was alone there with only three 
or four black servants in whose valor or faithful- 
ness he had little or no belief. The first night or 
two that the rumors were current, he contented 
himself with getting to horse, and in silence and 
secrecy patroling the road in front of the Ether- 
idge cottage. Nothing occurred, but as the 
rumors grew darker, his state of mind became 
more perturbed and he decided upon more vigor- 
ous measures. But Dolly's danger had not oc- 
curred to him alone, and before he could break 
the subject to his sister, she had come to him 
with a troubled face. 



206 THE FANATICS 

" Walter," she said, " won't you excuse me — I 
— haven't been spying on you, but I've guessed 
where you've been the last two nights." 

A thrill half of shame and half of pride in 
himself shook him. 

" Well, wasn't I right, Emily ? " he asked. 

" Of course, you were, for the time being ; but 
do you think it is enough ? You know we had 
word from Miss Mason that the guerillas visited 
her place last night and if it hadn't been for the 
servants thev would have been rude or worse. 
Now Dolly is poor and has so few negroes about 
her." 

" Well, what can we do ? " 

" I wouldn't trust those black folks anyhow, 
since they've got notions of freedom in their 
heads." 

" Nor I, but I can't go over there and stay." 

" Dolly could come here." 

" Would she ? Do you think she would ? " 

" Of course she would. Mother and I both 
agree that this is altogether the best plan, and 
we wondered if you'd mind riding over for her 
to-night." 

"Would I mind?" 

The tone was quite sufficient, and nothing 
more was needed to be said. 

The moon was at the full, and flooded the 
landscape with silvery light when accompanied 



WHEN LOYE STANDS GUAKD 207 

by Sam, a slave boy to whom he had become 
greatly attached, and bearing the invitation 
from his mother and sister, Walter set out for 
Dolly's house. For a time they went their way in 
silence, and then Sam, with the uncontrollable de- 
sire of his race for lyric expression broke into a 
song that woke the echoes. The young man, he 
was hardly yet a master, even in his thoughts, 
listened with pleasure, until he saw a dark 
form beside the road rise up, gaze at them for a 
moment, and then disappear into the surround- 
ing wood. 

" Sh," said Walter, without mentioning what 
he had seen, " I don't believe I'd sing any more, 
Sam. There's no telling what we might start 
up." 

" Wisht to de Lawd it 'ud be a 'possum," said 
Sam, chuckling with easy familiarity, but he 
hushed his song. 

" If we started up anything, it might not be 
something so pleasant for you as a 'possum." 

" Not pleasant f u' me," replied Sam, " huh uh, 
you do' know dis hoss." 

" So you'd leave me, would you, you rascal ? 
Well, you're a great one." 

" 'Spec's I'd have to leave you ef I couldn't tek 
you erlong." 

As they approached their destination, Walter 
suddenly drew rein and laid his hand on his 



208 THE FANATICS 

companion's bridle. He pointed quickly and si- 
lently to the form of a man clearly outlined in 
the moonlight. He was standing at the front of 
the cottage window attempting to peer into the 
room through a crack between the lower blind 
and the sill. So intent was he upon his spying 
that he had not noticed the approach of the 
others. 

" Dismount here," said "Walter, " and tie the 
horses under the shadow of that mulberry tree. 
I believe there's mischief going on." 

The negro did as he was bidden and hastened 
back to his companion's side, just as the intruder 
walked up and began knocking at the door. 
After some delay, the voice of a negro from 
within, questioned, " Who's dat ? " 

" Never mind," was the answer, " you open 
up." 

The silent watcher was breathless with inter- 
est, but he kept cool enough to say, " Sam, you 
slip around to the cabins, and rouse what 
negroes you can. Be ready for whatever 
happens, for there's no telling how many of 
them there are." Without a thought of his 
joke about desertion, Sam slipped away, leap- 
ing across the moonlit places from shadow to 
shadow while Walter crept nearer to the man at 
the door. 

It had not been opened, but a negro came 



WHEJST LOVE STANDS GUAKD 209 

from a side entrance and confronted the in- 
truder. 

"Why don't you open the door?" was the 
harsh question fired at the dark Cerberus. 

" Well, suh, I didn't jes' know who you was, 
an' I fought mebbe I could tell you whutevah 
you wanted to know." . 

" It's none of your damn business who I am. 
I'm here in the name of the law, and you'd bet- 
ter open up all-fired quick or it'll be the worse 
for you." 

The negro went back around the house and in 
a few minutes the door opened. As he passed 
the light, Walter saw that he wore the uniform 
of a Confederate officer. 

The door closed behind him, but Stewart be- 
coming spy in turn, came near enough to hear 
what was said within. 

" Where is your mistress ? " in the officer's 
voice. 

" She done retahed, suh." 

" Tell her I wish to see her." 

" She done retahed." 

" Yery well, let her get up. Tell her that her 
brother is supposed to be skulking within the 
lines, and that I am sent to search the house for 
him." 

" You kin such de house." 

" I shall begin with her room." 



210 THE FANATICS 

" Dey is no one in huh room, but huh, suh." 

" How dare you talk back to me, you black 
hound ? " 

The harsh voice was suddenly checked, and 
then Walter heard another that made his heart 
leap within his throat. 

" Never mind, Mingo," it said, " I am out of 
my room now. Lieutenant Forsythe," went on 
Dolly calmly, "you are at liberty to begin there 
now, and search where you please." The tone 
reeked with scorn. 

" You will go with me," was the reply. 

" A trusted servant may accompany you." 

" You will go with me, I said." 

" As you will, lieutenant, but this is the way 
you pay your scores — come when there is no 
man in the house save a servant, to take revenge 
for a woman's no." 

"We will not discuss that matter now, Miss 
Etheridge." 

Walter had pushed the door open and he saw 
that the man's face went red and white at Dolly's 
words. He saw too, the fierce eyes of the black 
servant fixed on Forsythe, and for one instant, 
he wondered if he were needed. In the next, he 
had flung the door open and stepped into the room. 
Every eye turned upon him, and he said clearly, 
" And why, Lieutenant Forsythe, must the lady 
go with you ? " 



WHEN LOYE STANDS GITAKD 211 

" Oh, Walter," Dolly cried, and then checked 
herself with a sigh of relief. The lieutenant was 
livid. 

" And who in hell are you ? " he asked in a 
tense voice. 

" I am Walter Stewart, at your service, lieu- 
tenant." 

"The paroled Yankee, eh? Oh, I see," he 
said in a tone that put murder in Walter's heart. 
" It is thus that you are protected, Miss Ether- 
idge ? " 

" You may go on with your search, lieutenant, 
that you have a perfect right to do, but Miss 
Etheridge, protected or not, will not leave this 
room." 

The two men stood glaring into each other's 
faces, while Mingo, relaxed from his vigilance, 
was chuckling in a corner. On a sudden, there 
was a rush of feet without, and four brawny 
men sprang into the room. The open door and 
the loud voices had attracted Forsythe's minions, 
who had been placed at a convenient distance. 
The lieutenant smiled grimly as his men sur- 
rounded Walter. 

"I reckon, Mr. Stewart," he said with a 
sneer, " that you'll go a bit slower now." 

" I'm not so sure of that, lieutenant," said 
Walter, and as he spoke, four negroes, led by 
Sam, and bearing stout clubs swept into the 



212 THE FANATICS 

room. The soldiers, if such the ragged guerillas, 
whom Forsy the had taken as his accomplices 
could be called, were completely taken by sur- 
prise, and wilted as the threatening blacks, now 
man to man lined up beside them. 

While the disappointed officer stood there 
chewing his mustache with rage, Walter had 
time for a few reflections upon the fidelity of a 
people whom he so little trusted because their 
fidelity militated against themselves, and it set- 
tled something in his mind that made his eyes 
flash and his lips press close together. 

" You may proceed with your search now, 
lieutenant," said Dolly sweetly. 

" It is unnecessary now. I suppose our bird 
has flown, and I shall not put myself to the 
trouble of searching your empty rooms." 

" Are you sure that you did not know before 
you came, lieutenant, that you would not find my 
brother here ? " 

" I am sure that I have found out some things 
that I did not know before," he answered, glanc- 
ing meaningly at the girl's protector. And then, 
the devil, which is in every man, became strong 
in Walter. It overcame him. His fist shot out, 
and Lieutenant Forsythe's lips spilled blood. The 
officer's eyes grew green and his hand went 
quickly to his holster, and then, the veneering 
that had cracked and shown the brute in him, 



WHEN LOYE STANDS GUABD 213 

closed again, and wiping the blood from his 
mouth, he said with the calmness of intense 
anger, " What this calls for, Mr. Stewart, is en- 
tirely beyond the limits of my present official duty. 
Will you grant me the pleasure of a few minutes' 
private conversation?" They stepped outside 
and a brief whispered conversation ensued. They 
were equally placid when they returned. 

" Attention ! about face ! forward, march ! " 
and without further word or sign, Forsythe and 
his minions marched away. 

" Follow them quietly, Sam, and see that they 
are up to no mischief, and you, Miss Etheridge, 
get your things on, for you must go with me." 
He had forgotten all about the formal invita- 
tion. 

" When is it to be ? " she asked in reply. 

He would have tried to evade, but she looked 
at him so steadfastly and earnestly that he could 
not. 

" To-morrow morning," he said simply, " but it 
is to be taken up as a merely personal matter, so 
I beg that you say nothing about it. Now go." 

She pressed his hand quickly. 

"Come 'long, Miss Dolly," said Mingo, still 
chuckling with glee, " hyeah 'Mandy stan'in' be- 
hime de do' wid a flatiron. I reckon ef Mas' 
Stewa't hadn' 'a' come, she'd a' to' dat game 
roostah up 'fo 1 I could a' said Jack Robinson." 



214 THE FANATICS 

When Sam had returned and reported all well, 
they got to saddle and started on their way, two 
of the negroes mounting and coming behind to 
prevent treachery. Dolly and Walter rode side 
by side, and Sam, who rode before, had neither 
eyes nor ears. 

"Do you really believe he was looking for 
Nelson ? " she asked. 

" Do you ? " 

" Oh, Walter, he has a grudge, and he is re- 
lentless. He proposed to me once, and he has 
pursued me ever since." 

" For that reason, if no other, I shall try to 
kill him to-morrow," and the shadow being con- 
venient, he kissed her. 

There was some commotion in the house when 
the party reached home, and the story was told 
in its entirety. But nothing save praise fell to 
Walter's lot for his action. Dolly respected his 
wishes and said nothing of the impending duel, 
though her heart ached for her lover. 

" I shall see you before you go in the morning," 
she said when they were alone for a moment be- 
fore parting that night. 

" I shall be leaving very early, before you are 
up." 

" Before I am up ! Walter, what can you 
be thinking of me ? Why, I shall not go to 
bed." 



WHEJST LOVE STANDS GUAKD 215 

" You must, dear, for I shall, and I shall sleep 
well." 

"As you say, but I shall see you in the morn- 
ing, nevertheless." 

Walter called Sam to him as he went up to his 
room. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 

The arrangements for the meeting between 
Walter Stewart and Lieutenant Forsythe were 
as simple as the brevity of their conversation in- 
dicated. The whole matter was to be kept a 
profound secret as much on account of Walter's 
position as a paroled prisoner as because of the 
other's place in the army. They were to face 
each other in a small open space under the trees 
that lined a little creek about three miles from 
the Etheridge cottage. They were both familiar 
with the place and agreed upon it with equal 
readiness. Because of the secrecy which they 
wished maintained, there were to be no witnesses 
beside the two seconds, but each might bring 
with him a trusted friend or servant. Thus 
promptly, they arranged the affair leaving only 
to the assistants yet to be chosen the task of 
marking the ground and giving the signal. 
Pistols were the weapons. 

When, after parting with Dolly, Walter called 
Sam to his room, it was to dispatch him on a 

216 



AN AFFAIE OF HONOK 217 

delicate and doubtful errand. Recognizing the 
peculiar attitude of his neighbors towards him, he 
had formed but few friendships and these only 
of the most tentative kind. Now, in this emer- 
gency, he needed a friend and a confidant. His 
mind turned to but one person, a young Dr. 
Daniel, whose frank manner had won him as 
much as he dared yield himself. He now sent 
the servant to bring to him this man upon the 
plea of most pressing business. 

In less than an hour, the young physician was 
with him. He was an open-faced, breezy look- 
ing young man of nine-and-twenty, or there- 
abouts, with the assured manner of perfect self- 
possession and self-reliance, 

He came into the room with a soft though 
brisk step, but stopped in surprise to see Walter 
pacing up and down the room. 

" Come in, doctor." 

" Why, why, man, from the expression of that 
rascal of yours, I expected to find you in bed 
tossing with a raging fever or laid up with a 
broken leg." 

" I shall not be your patient, to-night, doctor, 
to-morrow, who can say ? " 

"Eh, what's this? Not thinking of suicide, 
are you ? " 

" I'm thinking of how good a shot my opponent 
may be. The fact is, Dr. Daniel, I called you 



218 THE FANATICS 

here on a business that is almost, if not wholly 
impertinent. But I hope you will pardon and 
help me, for there is no one else to whom I may 
turn." He then recounted to him the events of 
the night ; the physician's face, already inclined 
to ruddiness, growing redder and angrier as he 
went on. 

" Now, doctor," concluded Walter, " I am sure 
that Forsythe's intentions were neither honest 
nor official, and I have only tried to do my duty. 
Is it too much to ask you to forget what I am 
politically, and to be my friend and second in 
this matter ? " 

" Forget what you are ? Damn what you are, 
Stewart. I'll tell you what I'll do, man, I'll 
change places with you. I'll let you be my 
second." 

" It's my fight." 

" But don't you see it's a nasty business, and 
might get you into complications." 

" I am willing to risk all that." 

" Oh, come now, be sensible. The lady's 
brother is a good friend of mine." 

" The lady is a good friend of mine." 

" But I know the whole story ; how he has 
tried to annoy that girl ever since she rejected 
him two years ago as any girl of decency and 
spirit would have done. I know he has always 
kept just outside the limit that would give her 



AN AFFAIR OF HOJTOK 219 

brother the right to fill his carcass full of lead. 
He has overstepped it now, and I want a chance 
to get a shot at the dirtiest hound in all Yirginia. 
Give it to me." 

"Wish I could, old man, but I want it my- 
self." 

" Oh, well, I always was a selfish dog. It's 
your say and if you won't, you won't ; but any- 
how, I'm with you, and I'll be in at the death if 
I can't have the brush." 

"Thank you, doctor, your kindness is even 
greater than I could have hoped for, even from 
you." 

" Yours isn't, or you'd have given me a shot 
at that cur ; but remember if he happens to hit 
you, and God forbid that, I get the next chance 
at his hide." 

" I wouldn't want to leave the business to a 
better man, and now, let us complete our ar- 
rangements, and then you may get to bed." 

They talked for a short time longer, and then 
Walter conducted the physician to his room, 
while he gave his attention to one or two other 
duties. The last words the buoyant young 
Southerner said to him as he began to undress 
were, " Um, you're a lucky dog — a shot at For- 
sythe ! " 

It was before the darkness of the night had 
given way to the morning's grey that the men 



220 THE FANATICS 

were up and ready for the saddle. Dr. Daniel 
had already reached the lawn where Sam was 
holding the horses. Walter loitered down the 
hallway, half expecting, yet half doubting that 
he should see Dolly. 

" She's asleep, of course," he told himself, " and 
I'm glad of it. How could I expect her to get up 
after such a night as she has had. I was a brute 
to think of it." Nevertheless, there was a dis- 
satisfied feeling tugging at his heart as he 
stepped out on the veranda. But his foot had 
scarcely touched the floor when his eye caught 
the flash of a woman's white shawl up under 
some vines that overhung the porch. His heart, 
suddenly relieved from its tension, gave a great 
leap as he hastened towards her. 

" Dolly," he said, " I was afraid you wouldn't 
come. Indeed, I didn't want you to, dear." 

" I had to come, if only to bid you Godspeed, 
Walter. Come back to me, you will, won't 
you ? " 

" To answer that, lies beyond me, my darling, 
but I will try. If I don't " 

" Don't say that — you will." 

" Good-bye, now." 

" Good-bye, Walter, good-bye, and strength to 
you and a safe return. Good-bye." 

She went back and he hastened down and 
swung into the saddle. 



AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 221 

" We must not keep the gentlemen waiting," 
he said to the doctor as they rode away slowly 
until out of ear-shot of the house. 

" It will be enough to leave him lie waiting 
afterwards, and I hope you will leave him for a 
long wait, after it's all over." 

" Well, it's a chance, you know, and I'm will- 
ing to take it ; if he leaves me, instead, I guess 
Sam here, can take me home across his horse." 

Sam was trailing along, carrying the pistol 
case, but he caught the words, and spurred up to 
his master. 

"Mas' Waltah," he said solemnly, " ef dat man 
hits you, dey kin bu'n me er hang me, but he 
ain' gwine leave dis place alive." 

The doctor suddenly halted horse and turned 
on the negro. 

" Now look here, Sam," he said, " it's all right 
for you to be protecting your master, but what- 
ever happens, if you raise a hand against John 
Forsythe, I'll kill you on the instant. When 
your master is done with him, he's my meat, and 
he'll hardly take the reckoning of us both." 

Sam looked appealingly to his master. 

" That's right," the latter replied, " you're not 
in this part of it, Sam, but you did your share 
last night. Anyhow, I'm not counting on leav- 
ing work for anybody this morning." 

For the rest of the journey, they rode in silence, 



222 THE FANATICS 

but Walter's thoughts were busy with the events 
that had filled his life in the weeks since he had 
left Ohio. He reviewed the change that had 
come to him in his feelings towards the cause he 
had espoused. He saw how remorse for the dis- 
agreement with his father, his affection for his 
family and the glamour of the South had all 
combined to win him from a righteous allegiance, 
and made him lukewarm or indifferent to what 
he had once felt to be the absolute right. He 
saw that in spirit, if not in deed, he was as much 
a deserter as the veriest renegade, who stole from 
the marching ranks to hide in the thickets and by 
ways until his comrades had passed on. He saw 
how much weaker a man he was now than on the 
day when he had gone out from his father's house 
in Dorbury, though he did not see that the weak- 
ening process had been excusable, even inevi- 
table. Though he held himself mercilessly up to 
his own criticism, the verv fact that he was able 
to see these things in himself clearly, was evi- 
dence of the approach of a new state of mind, a 
change subtler than either of the others had been. 
He had begun to get back to himself, to be a man 
stronger than his surroundings, with a spirit in- 
dependent of his affections. 

At first contact with it, to him, as to many 
others beyond his years, the condition of the 
South, its life and its people, had seemed all 



AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 223 

chivalry and romance. The events of the past 
and the present day's business, had done more to 
tear aside this veil than anything else could have 
done. It was clear to him now that they were 
not all gods and goddesses in Dixie — that if it 
were an Eden, at least it was not free from 
serpents. He had received a royally good shak- 
ing up, and now he began to perceive that some 
hasty conclusions which he had reached were not 
based upon fact. One of these was that the 
North was eaten up by commercialism while the 
South was free from it ; another that Northern 
honor and Southern honor were two essentially 
different things ; both these beliefs died an early 
death as he reflected that here too, men bought 
and bartered, sold and intrigued. The occur- 
rences which had taken place within the last few 
months under his eyes now reacted one upon the 
other with the result of placing him surely, 
strongly and logically where his first enthusiasm 
had placed him, and for the first time since he 
had been paroled, the irksome hatefulness of his 
situation was borne in upon him. Now he chafed 
to be in the field again. Now he felt the thrill 
of fighting for a great cause. His eyes were 
flashing and his teeth clenched hard when the 
voice of the doctor called him to the business at 
hand. 

" Here we are," he cried as gaily as though 



224 THE FANATICS 

they were a party reaching the picnic grounds, 
" and we're the first here, of course." 

They dismounted and tied their horses, and 
then began examining the ground. It was a 
plot of greensward, well surrounded by trees, 
and sloping with a slow incline to a little creek 
that ran gurgling past — a quiet, pretty enough 
place, but its very seclusion had made it the 
recipient of many a bloody secret in those days 
when men settled affairs of honor according to 
the code. Two trees stood opposite each other 
about twenty paces apart, and these had won the 
name of the " duelling trees," because the dis- 
tance between them being paced, the principals 
were usually placed, one under each, and many a 
deadly combat had been waged beneath their 
softly sighing branches. 

The grey dawn had given way to the warmer 
hues of morning when two other riders cantered 
into the circle of trees and halted. 

" It's Forsythe," said the doctor. 

" And he only brings one of his troopers with 
him as second." 

" If it is true that he went on that errand last 
night without authority, it is just as well that he 
does not have too many in his secret," was the 
rejoinder. 

The men greeted each other with the utmost 
formality, though there was a touch of brusque- 



AN AFFAIR OF HONOR 225 

ness in the physician's recognition of the lieu- 
tenant. While the two principals walked apart, 
their seconds paused for a brief conference as to 
conditions. In a little while, Dr. Daniel came 
to Walter. 

" Are you ready and steady, old man ? " 

" Both," was the calm reply. 

" The conditions are these ; you are to be sta- 
tioned at twenty paces, back to back. At the 
word, you are to turn and fire where you stand, 
then each has the privilege of advancing, firing 
until one or the other is hit. Are you satisfied ? " 

"Perfectly." 

" Yery well, we are ready," said the doctor to 
Forsythe's trooper, and together they paced off 
the ground, already so well known. Then the 
men were put in their places, and each second 
saw to the condition of his principal's weapon. 
Dr. Daniel stationed himself to the left, and 
midway the ground, while the trooper took a 
like position to the right. 

" Are you ready, gentlemen ? " said the latter. 

" We are ready." 

" One." 

Then the clatter of horses' hoofs broke the 
morning stillness, and he paused. Both men 
waited with manifest impatience, but neither 
spoke. 

" Go on," said the doctor. " Quick ! " 



226 THE FANATICS 

" Two." 

Forsythe half turned, but it was too late. A 
squad of horsemen in grey uniform burst into 
the enclosure and rode between the men. 

" Walter Stewart," said the sergeant, " I arrest 
you upon the charge of violating your parole." 

" Can you not wait just one moment until this 
business can be dispatched," said Walter calmly. 

But the officer spurred away from him with a 
curt, " Your business is not ours." 

"Never mind, Forsythe," screamed Daniel, 
"I'll take the job off of Stewart's hands." 

" Lieutenant Forsythe is also under arrest," 
said the sergeant. 

Forsythe went very white, but stood calm as 
a statue. 

" You took a miserable, cowardly way to save 
yourself," he said when he and Walter were 
brought together. 

" You are mistaken, lieutenant," said the ser- 
geant breaking in, " one of your own men was 
the informant." 

The lieutenant bit his lip. The three prison- 
ers, for the trooper was also put under arrest, 
mounted their horses and were surrounded by a 
close guard. 

" Why am I too not arrested ? " stormed the 
doctor. 

" We had no orders regarding you, sir," was 



AN AFFAIE OF HONOR 227 

the reply, and the little cavalcade cantered away, 
leaving the physician swearing with feeling and 
distinction. 

"Never mind," he said at last. "Let's go 
home, Sam. If that old trooper had been a bit 
quicker, Virginia might have been rid of the 
meanest sneak that ever scourged her; but in- 
stead of that, the party is broken up and nobody 
gets out of the mess but the doctor and the 
darky, neither one worth arresting. Come, let's 
go home." 



CHAPTEE XIX 

JUSTICE 

After the arrest of Walter, the doctor and 
Sam rode back over their tracks one as discon- 
solate as the other. It was not a pleasant duty 
that loomed up before them in the all too near 
future. Walter was gone. He would be missed 
and questions would be asked. Then what ? 

" Oh, Lord," sighed the doctor, " Sam, what 
are we going to do ? What are we going to say 
to them when they ask for him ? " 

" Well, hit don' seem dey's nuffin else f u' me 
to do but to tell de trufe." 

" My Lord, you are in desperate straits, that's 
always a man's last resort. Now, for my part, 
I'd a good deal rather lie if it would do any 
good. But the devil's going to be raised, and 
they'll be sure to find out. Biff ! there goes my 
reputation. I tried to persuade your master to 
let me take this business on my hands. It would 
have been a good deal better to have faced For- 
svthe and have shot him or been shot than to 
face these bereaved women. But I'm in for it 

228 



JUSTICE 229 

now, so come along, Sam. You take a hint from 
me. If I decide to tell the truth, you tell it. If 
I decide to lie, you fall in and outlie the devil 
and stick to it." 

As they neared the Stewart home, the spirits 
of both of them sank lower still. The sun was 
now overhead, and was fast drying the dew- 
laden grass by the roadside. The day was clear 
and bright, or they might have taken for an ap- 
parition the white faced figure that stepped out 
in the road before them. 

The doctor drew in his horse with an exclama- 
tion, and Sam's eyes threatened to leave their 
sockets. 

" Where is he ? Where is he ? " cried Dolly. 
" What has happened to him ? " 

The dumbfounded men gazed first at the 
misery-distraught woman, and then, helplessly 
at each other. 

"Oh, don't keep me in suspense. Tell me, 
where is Walter ? " She had thrown aside all 
reserve and false modesty, and stood before 
them, self-confessed, a woman distressed for the 
safety of her lover. 

" Why — why — Miss Etheridge," stammered 
Daniel. 

" You tell me, Sam. I command you to tell 
me the truth. I see in Dr. Daniel's eyes his in- 
tention to hide something from me." 



230 THE FANATICS 

The slave looked at his companion for guid- 
ance, but getting no help from him, he mum- 
bled, " Mas' Walter, w'y, he went wid de loo- 
tenant." 

" Went with him ? What do you mean ? Was 
he hurt ? Have you deserted him ? Oh, doctor, 
please, please tell me. It was for me that he 
went into this." 

Daniel dismounted, and throwing his bridle 
over his arm, he began leading the girl towards 
the house. 

" I'll tell you the truth," he said, and as briefly 
and gently as possible, he related what had taken 
place. 

She heard him through in silence, and then 
asked, " What will they do with him ? " 

"That I cannot tell, Miss Etheridge, but I 
don't see how they can do much when the truth 
is known." 

" But will the truth be known ? " 

" I cannot vouch for that, either, but whatever 
I can do to make it known, shall be done. I am 
going up home to arrange my affairs, so that I 
may be away, and then I shall start for Colonel 
Braxton's headquarters, whither he will be 
taken." 

" Will you take a letter for me ? " 

" With pleasure." 

" Thank you, doctor, thank you for your kind- 



JUSTICE 231 

ness to him and to me. I will have the letter 
ready when you return. Good-bye until then." 

She was hastening away, but he detained her. 
" I am going up to the house," he said. 

" You must not, I will break it to them as you 
cannot." 

" But do you think it quite right ? " he asked 
with a look of relief that belied his anxious 
tone. 

" I can do it better than you. So do not wait 
for me. Mount and lose no time." She hurried 
on, and he rejoined Sam. 

"It's all right, Sam. Just keep your mouth 
shut. The telling will be done for us better than 
we can do it. 

" By Jove," he said later, as he left the servant 
at the gate and rode on past. " If I could find a 
woman who loved me like that, I'll be hanged if 
I wouldn't risk it. I would." 

With swift, but reluctant steps, Dolly made 
her way homeward and sought out Emily and 
her mother. Her face was pale and drawn with 
pain and her girl-companion saw at once that 
something was wrong. 

" What is it, Dolly ? " she asked hastening to 
her. 

" Let me sit down, I don't know what you will 
say to me, Mrs. Stewart, and you, Emily, how 
you will feel towards me." 



232 THE FANATICS 

" Nothing can ever change us towards you, 
Dolly, so be calm," said Emily, putting her arms 
around her. 

"I should have told you last night, but he 
wouldn't let me, he was afraid you would be 
worried." 

"Is it about Walter ? " exclaimed his mother. 
" What has happened to him ? " 

" He is at Colonel Braxton's headquarters, 
under arrest." 

" Under arrest ? " cried the two women. 

"But Dolly," said Emily, "how could they 
arrest him ? He was paroled." 

" Oh, you will think that I am a wicked, heart- 
less girl, for it is all my fault." 

" Your fault ? How ? " Emily's tone was 
colder, and she withdrew her arm from Dolly's 
waist. 

" Don't leave me, Emily, till you understand. 
There was a personal encounter last night be- 
tween Walter and Lieutenant Forsythe, and it 
resulted in a meeting between them this morn- 
ing." 

" A duel ? " 

" It would have been, but they were both ar- 
rested by a squad this morning and taken away." 

" Why did you not tell us this before, Dolly, so 
that we might have stopped it ? " said Mrs. 
Stewart sternly. 



JUSTICE 233 

""Walter forbade me and I could not violate 
his confidence." 

"There are times when even a violation of 
confidence might be justifiable." 

The girl raised her tear-stained face to the 
older woman's. " You do not understand," she 
said. " He was involved on my account, and he 
trusted me. Suppose I had violated this trust, 
told you and the matter had been stopped by 
you ? What would they have said ? * His mother 
intervened to save him.' Mrs. Stewart, Walter's 
honor is as dear to me as to you or Emily, and I 
could not do that." 

" Forgive me, child, you are right, but this is 
very hard." 

" I know it. But though I could not save him 
then without dishonor, I shall try to help him 
now, by writing the whole story to Colonel 
Braxton." 

" Who will take it ? " 

" Dr. Daniel is going to the camp to intercede 
for Walter, and will call for my letter soon. I 
will go now and write it. Do try to be calm. 
They can't be hard upon him when they know 
what a hero he has been." 

Mrs. Stewart patted the girl's hand gently and 
said, " His mother and sister will try to be as 
brave as " 

" His sweetheart," cried Dolly, blushing, and 



234 THE FANATICS 

taking the grey-haired woman in her arms, she 
kissed her and sped from the room. Emily 
laughed. 

« Why, daughter, how can you laugh at such a 
time ? " asked her mother. 

" Because I feel so sure that Walter is safe, and 
will come back to us unharmed and without dis- 
honor." 

" Don't be sanguine, dear. The conditions of 
war are very different from those of peace." 

" I know, mother, but would you have had him 
do less ? " 

" I don't know, and, yes, I do ; your father's 
son could have done no less." 

It was not long before Dr. Daniel came has- 
tening back, but quick as he was, Dolly Etheridge 
was ready with her letter. 

" I want you to forgive me," he said, " for my 
part in this affair, but you must understand that 
I am not greatly to blame. I begged Stewart to 
let me chip in, but he's an awfully proud fellow, 
you see, and he wouldn't let me do it. I was par- 
ticularly anxious to get a chance at Forsythe. 
But your son, Mrs. Stewart, said it was his quar- 
rel, and I could only play second fiddle. To be 
sure, I might have locked him in his room and 
gone as proxy, but I didn't think he'd like it." 

" Why that would have been horrible," ex- 
claimed Emily. 



JUSTICE 235 

" Yes, but you'd have had your brother with 
you now." 

" We should not have wanted him at that cost," 
was the sister's reply. 

" No, Walter has been perfectly right," added 
the mother. 

" Perhaps I did the best thing, after all," said 
the doctor ruefully ; " but it's pretty hard to see 
such a chance escape never to return." 

" Had you any quarrel with Lieutenant For- 
sythe ? " " 

" Oh, no, no special quarrel. It was just gen- 
eral principles with me. I really believe the Con- 
federate army would have voted your son a medal 
if he had rid them of a hound who gained his po- 
sition through the worst influence, and holds it 
through duplicity. But I mustn't stand here 
chattering all morning. I am quite ready to take 
your letter, Miss Dolly, and I am sure it will do 
as much good as you want it to do." 

Miss Etheridge handed him her missive with a 
blush. " Bring him back with you," she said. 

" Well, I won't promise to do just that, but 
if I don't, I'll bring you good news anyhow, and 
I won't spare any time in getting this into the 
proper hands. Good-morning to you, ladies, and 
good cheer," and the good doctor leaped into his 
saddle and cantered away, leaving behind him a 
cheerier household than he had found. 



236 THE FANATICS 

It was ten miles to his destination, but he made 
short work of it, sent his message through the 
lines and received safe conduct to the colonel. 
This officer was a grizzled veteran who had seen 
service in the Mexican war, and who was bent 
on doing for the raw material that he had in 
hand what years of service had done for him. 
He was as kind of heart as he was brusque of 
manner. To him, Dr. Daniel came with his own 
story and Dolly's letter, which the colonel read 
grimly. 

"You are a friend of the prisoner's, I sup- 
pose ? " 

" Yes, I haven't known him long, but I have 
learned to like him right well." 

" Do you know that this liking of yours and 
your connection with the affair is likely to in- 
volve you in difficulty ? " 

"Well, now, I hadn't thought of that, but it 
doesn't matter in the least." 

The colonel bent industriously over the paper 
in his hand, and a smile nickered through his 
grey mustache. 

"Are you acquainted also with Lieutenant 
Forsythe ? " 

Daniel straightened himself up angrily. "I 
know Forsythe." 

" I said Lieutenant Forsythe." 

" Beg pardon, colonel, but " 



JUSTICE 237 

" Enough, suh. Who is this Miss Etheridge ? " 

" She's a daughter of old Nelson Etheridge, of 
Eockford, sir." 

" Who was related, I believe, to the Etheridges 
of Mecklenbu'g county ? " 

" Well, sir, I'm not just up on genealogy, and 
all that sort o' thing, but I dare say you're right. 
Most all Virginians are related, you know. It's 
become a state habit." 

Again the colonel had recourse to the papers 
to hide his amusement. When he looked up 
again, he said, 

" I shall have to detain you, Dr. Daniel, until 
I look further into this case. Discipline has been 
altogether too lax here of late, and while disaffec- 
tion has not become common in Virginia, there is 
altogether too great a tendency towards it." 

" I hope you don't feel any doubt about me, 
colonel ? " 

" It isn't a matter of personal feeling." 

" Of course not, I ought to have known that. 
In fact, I did know it, and yet I feel that you are 
saying, ' What is an able-bodied fellow like that 
doing at home ? 9 Well, I'm not home for choice 
or for all time. Yet there are some things to be 
done before I can go where the rest of the fel- 
lows of my age are. There are women and chil- 
dren to be looked after and dosed. Until now, 
there have been things outside of the army that 



238 THE FANATICS 

I could do for Yirginia, but as soon as a breath- 
ing time comes, I shall be where I should be." 

The colonel's eyes were very bright as he looked 
at the young man, but he only said, " JSTo doubt," 
and called an officer to take Daniel away. 

" There's a man who would make a good 
fighter, but a damned bad soldier," was the 
veteran's mental comment. " He's too free and 
easy." 

" Bring in the prisoner, Stewart," was his com- 
mand to the orderly. 

The appearance of Walter was hardly that of 
a felon when he came into the presence of the 
commanding officer. His eyes were clear, his 
head high and his step firm. There was no sign 
of fear in the manner in which he met his judge's 
gaze. 

" Your name is ? " 

" Walter Stewart." 

"And you were until first taken, a soldier of 
the Northern army ? " 

" I was." 

" You were taken when within the Confederate 
lines, and were paroled when you might have 
been dealt with as a spy." 

" My business within your lines was perfectly 
clear." 

"That does not alter the case. You were 
paroled and violated the parole." 



JUSTICE 239 

" I do not feel that the latter is the case, sir." 

" What ? " cried the colonel sternly. " Do you 
dare to deny it ? " 

" I deny none of the facts of the case, sir, I 
only question their construction." 

" You have no right to question, suh, you are a 
prisoner to be judged. The case to my mind is 
perfectly clear against you." 

" You are the judge," said Walter calmly. 

" You were found, suh, in the very act of an 
encounter with a Confederate officer, after hav- 
ing assaulted him on the night before. We con- 
sider, suh, that you have violated your parole, and 
broken your word of honor." 

" When Yirginia thinks that by protecting a 
defenceless woman, a man tarnishes his honor or 
forfeits his word, I begin to feel sorry for my 
father's state." 

" Suh, you are not the gyardian of Virginia's 
honah." 

" I am the custodian of my own, though." 

" Then you should have seen better to it than 
to have broken your parole. You know the con- 
sequences." 

" I am not afraid of the consequences. I am 
willing to abide by them. But I do not think 
that I have violated my parole. I have not 
taken up arms against the Confederate states, 
unless they are warring against their own de- 



240 THE FANATICS 

fenceless women. Nor have I given aid or com- 
fort to your enemies, unless you consider as an 
enemy, a woman who has never by word or deed 
shown anything but allegiance to the South she 
loves." 

" Ahem ! " said the colonel. 

" Furthermore, my quarrel, my encounter, was 
not against your government, but against the 
injustice of one man. It was not an encounter 
involving national views, but a purely personal 
encounter." 

" In troublous times like these, no encounter 
with an officer of ours can be considered as 
personal." 

" I hope, sir, that you have not also suspended 
the rule in regard to respect for women." 

" You are pleased to be impertinent, and yet I 
answuh that I hope Virginia will never be guilty 
of that." Walter bowed. 

" I understand that you are a son of the late 
Colonel Stewart, a Virginia gentleman ? " 

" I was never more his son than now." 

" I doubt that. I knew your father." 

" My father, placed in the same position I was, 
would, I believe, have acted as I did." 

" Without doubt — I beg your pardon," the 
colonel checked himself. "But yours are rules 
of civil life, and your laws are for civilians ; at 
present, we are under military rule." 



JUSTICE 241 

" Having been a soldier, I understand that. I 
am in your hands." 

"Sergeant of the guard, you will hold the 
prisoner under arrest until further orders. I will 
look into your case and consider it further. 
Retire. A moment, sergeant." The non-com- 
missioned officer paused just out of ear-shot of 
Walter, and the colonel whispered, " Treat him 
well, sergeant, he's a Stewart cleah through." 

After the dismissal of "Walter, Lieutenant For- 
sythe was brought into the colonel's presence. 
The conference between him and his superior 
officer was short and decisive. 

" Lieutenant Forsythe, you gave as your rea- 
son for entering the house of Miss Etheridge, 
that you were on a search for her brother." 

"I did." 

"You were not aware that her brother had 
been for some time in the Union army ? " 

" I had received reliable information that led 
me to believe that he had returned and was in 
hiding at home." 

" After gaining entrance into the house, why 
did you insist upon Miss Etheridge's accompany- 
ing you in your search ? " 

Forsythe hesitated and turned color under the 
colonel's glance. 

" I wished to be able to watch her face and so 
tell when I was upon the scent." 



» 



V 



242 THE FANATICS 

" Why, when you had the chance to search the 
house without her, did you not do it ? " 

" I was sure her brother had been given time 
and opportunity to escape." 

" Now, Lieutenant Forsythe, will you tell me 
by whose orders you went upon this search for 
Nelson Etheridge ? " 

" I thought that the capture of an enemy 

" Will you answer my question ? " 

" Upon no one's specific orders, but 

"No buts about it. I am answuhed. Were 
you ever a suitor for Miss Etheridge's hand ? " 

" I consider that a personal question, sir." 

Forsythe saw that the hope for him was gone 
and he could be no worse off by taking a stand 
on dignified effrontery. 

" Oh, you consider it a personal question ? " 

" I do, and one that has nothing to do with my 
service." 

" And as such, you refuse to answuh it ? Very 
well. You have no doubt understood the rules 
of this command in regyard to the treatment of 
women ? " 

"Yes— but " 

" That will do, Lieutenant Forsythe. A court- 
martial will attend to your case." 

The lieutenant saluted and was taken away 
under guard. Walter and Dr. Daniel were then 
summoned. 



JUSTICE 24S 

" Young man," said the colonel to the former, 
" I regret that I find cause neither to hold nor to 
punish you. I regret, too, that you have chosen 
a course alien to your father's traditions and be- 
liefs. But that, of course, is not my affair. I 
advise you, in the future, however, to keep cleah 
of collisions with our officers, or the next time 
you may not get off so easily." 

Walter felt it the part of wisdom to make no 
reply, and so merely bowed. 

" You, Dr. Daniel," said the colonel, turning to 
the physician, " will always find a welcome here, 
and whenever, if ever, you choose to throw your 
lot in with us, I hope to have you in my 
command." 

" Thank you, colonel, thank you, sir." 

The two men were conducted safely away from 
camp and set on their homeward way. 

" By Jove, Stewart," said the doctor heartily, 
" I wish you weren't a Yankee ! " 

" I'm hardly a Yankee, doctor, as you use the 
term. But knowing Ohio, and knowing Vir- 
ginia through such men as you, I am more than 
ever for the Union that will keep two such 
states together, let that Union be bought at 
whatever price it may." 

The two men clasped hands across their saddle 
bows. The physician took Walter's praise as in- 
genuously as a child. 



244 THE FANATICS 

" I wish," he said, " that more Northerners 
knew us Southerners." 

" If the two sections did know each other 
better, a deal of blood might be saved." 

It was a grave ride home, but the rejoicings at 
the end of the journey compensated for all the 
serious thought along the way. 

"Bless you, Dr. Daniel," said Mrs. Stewart 
fervently. 

" Oh, don't thank me, Mrs. Stewart. I'm not a 
drop in the bucket. It was Miss Dolly's letter 
that fixed everything." 

" Dolly's letter ! " cried Walter. 

The girl blushed, and the doctor added, 
" Maybe I'm telling tales out of school." 

" You shall tell me about it, Dolly," said Wal- 
ter with glowing eyes. This was perhaps only 
an excuse to lead her away from the rest for a 
walk in the arbor. What excuse Dr. Daniel 
gave for leading Emily in an opposite direction 
matters not, but it must have been satisfactory, 
for Mrs. Stewart found the housewife's excuse of 
her work to leave them, and the doctor stayed to 
supper. 



CHAPTER XX 

THE VISION OF THE BLACK RIDER 

Despite the apparent cheerfulness with which 
Mary Waters went her way in the Woods house- 
hold, she was not entirely her own old self. 
There was an air about her not so much of sad- 
ness as of repression. She tried, as well as the 
circumstances of the household allowed, to be 
alone, although Nannie, feeling that brooding 
over her experiences must be unprofitable to her 
friend, attempted to correct this tendency in her. 
She was not always successful, for notwithstand- 
ing the pliancy of her disposition with those 
whom she loved, Bradford Waters' daughter had 
something of a will of her own, and there were 
times when she would elude Nannie's vigilance 
or repel her advances and wander away to in- 
dulge her moods to herself. 

As the midsummer approached, she grew rest- 
less and preoccupied and often she would awake 
Nannie at night by starting up with cries of 
terror. But on being questioned, the only reply 

245 



246 THE FANATICS 

she would make was that she had been dreaming. 
Her dreams she would not tell at first. 

Finally, the fancy so grew upon her that 
Nannie began to tax her with keeping something 
back. Mary continued reticent, but worn and 
weak, she at last surrendered to her friend's 
stronger nature. 

" You've just got to tell me what it is, Mary 
Waters," said Nannie. " Something is troubling 
your mind, and you are troubling mine." 

" But it's such a foolish thing, Nannie." 

" I don't care. Folly is none the worse for 
being shared with some one." 

" Do you believe in dreams ? " 

" I don't know, tell me yours, and I'll see. If 
I believe it means anything, I'll tell you, hon- 
estly, I will." 

" Well, I have the vision of a black rider that 
continually comes to me in a sort of stupor that 
I experience between sleeping and waking. I 
cannot describe what I mean nor the feeling of 
it. But I know I am not asleep nor yet awake. 
The rider is always going along a dark road, and 
he comes up and holds out his arms to me. His 
face is covered, but I know him. It is the form 
of Kobert Yan Doren. But before I can touch 
his hand, he is gone, and when I call out after 
him, everything grows utterly black and I am 
awake with a terrible misgiving at my heart. 



VISION OF THE BLACK RIDER 247 

Oh, I am afraid something has happened to 
him." 

The girl seldom let herself out so fully, and 
Nannie saw that she was terribly wrought up. 

" It is nothing, Mary," she said. " You've 
been brooding too much and it has made you 
nervous and sleepless. It will all come right if 
you try not to worry and wonder too much." 

" I knew you would say that and I would 
rather not have told you." 

" Don't be offended, dear. "What I say is only 
for the best. It is what Tom would say to you 
if he were here." 

" Yes, that's true, for he would understand no 
better than you, Nannie. There is with me 
something more than the dream — a feeling here," 
she pressed her hand to her breast, " a peculiar 
ache that isn't so much an ache as a premonition 
of one. You don't know what I mean, but I 
do." 

" I think I almost understand. It's the same 
feeling that I have in my feet just before I step 
on the jack in your father's warehouse." 

Mary looked up quickly to see if her friend 
was joking, but the eyes that met her own were 
perfectly serious, and though she could not 
vouch for the correctness of the likeness, she felt 
that somehow, Nannie understood. 

"But," the latter pursued, "I never let the 



248 THE FANATICS 

feeling in my foot get the better of me, and 
neither must you give way to that in your heart. 
It may be there, and it may seem something, but 
just keep on going." 

" That's hardly necessary advice," smiled 
Mary. " It's the one thing that we have to do 
in life, keep on going. No matter how many 
presentiments you have, you've got to go on to 
their fulfillment. That's one thing that gives me 
the horrors at times until I want to shriek aloud 
— this unending forward movement. If one 
could only stop sometimes — but we can't." 

" Don't, Mary, don't ; there are some things 
that we must neither think nor talk about, some 
things that we must leave to a Higher Intelli- 
gence than ours." 

" But suppose that one does think about them, 
that one cannot help it — that everything suggests 
these thoughts ? " 

" Oh, in that case, one goes out into the open 
air with me, walks down to the shop, and as she 
has a quick eye, helps me match some goods," 
and seeking to divert her mind from the gloomy 
thoughts that were taking possession of it, Nannie 
hurried Mary into her hat and out upon the 
streets. 

The day was full of sunshine, but the air was 
limpid with the suggestion of rain, and a soft 
breeze blew up from the river. The town was 



VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 249 

humming and drowsing comfortably, and there 
was nothing in its appearance to indicate that 
just a little below the surface there smouldered 
volcanic fires of discontent and unrest. The 
whole place was the embodiment of peace. The 
blinds of the houses were closed to keep out the 
garish sunlight and the most active sign of life 
upon the resident streets was the young children 
playing in the gutters and on the pavements. 

Something of the restfulness of the scene pos- 
sessed Mary and for the time drove the clouds 
from her mind. The bright day and her fore- 
bodings did not set well together. Could it be 
true that on such a morning as this with such a 
sky overhead men could be hating each other 
and seeking each others' lives? Her mind re- 
jected the incongruity. After all, the darkest 
hour is just before dawn. She had been going 
through her dark hour and now all the bright- 
ness and beauty about her were but the promise 
of the better time coming. She went into the 
shop with Nannie stepping lightly and with a 
smile on her face. 

Though poetry has told us that coming events 
cast their shadows before them, science has not 
troubled itself to deal largely with this subject 
of premonition, nor is it believable that those 
shadows are cast upon all hearts. But there is 
little doubt that to some there is given the added 



250 THE FANATICS 

sorrow of feeling the approach of catastrophe 
some time before the fact. Call it presentiment 
or what you will, there are those who are capable 
of feeling disaster before it comes. Of these, 
was Mary Waters, and bright as her face had 
been when she entered the shop with Nannie 
the clouds had settled upon it again when she 
emerged. 

" Let us walk up Main street," she said, and 
her companion agreed. 

Nannie chatted on cheerfully because she had 
not noted Mary's return to her former depression. 
Had she only looked at her companion's gloomy 
face, her flow of talk would have been checked. 
Mary's eyes were fastened upon a knot of people 
surrounding a bulletin board in front of the 
Diurnal office. 

" Something is wrong," said Mary suddenly, 
breaking in on her friend's talk. 

" "Why do you think so ? " asked the surprised 
girl. 

" Look at the crowd up there. Let us go and 
see." 

Reluctantly Nannie complied and they were 
soon on the outskirts of the growing crowd. 
They could not get near enough to see the words 
on the board, but some one read aloud for the 
benefit of the late comers the words that made 
Mary pale with terror and turn hastily way. 



VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 251 

" John Morgan with his cavalry has crossed the 
river and is advancing into Ohio." 

" John Morgan is in Ohio, and Robert is with 
him — my vision, the Black Rider." The dis- 
jointed words beat time to the throbbing of her 
heart. " John Morgan is in Ohio and Robert is 
with him." 

The news spread like wildfire and already the 
town was alive with people hastening to the 
centre of intelligence. The drowsy summer 
quiet had gone from the streets as if by magic, 
and instead there were the shuffling of feet and 
the babble of many tongues. But Mary did not 
speak and Nannie gave her the sympathy of si- 
lence. Only when they were in the house again 
did she say, " I shall never question your feelings 
again. Never." Then with rare good sense, she 
left Mary to herself. 

The shock, coming as it had, as a confirmation 
of her fears and holding in it unknown possibili- 
ties for trouble had a severe effect upon the girl. 
She was distressed for the safety of her lover, 
but not only that, for a new element had entered 
into her feelings. Heretofore, she had had little 
or no doubt as to the righteousness of her loyalty 
to Robert. But now it was a very different 
thing. He was no longer a brave man exiled 
and driven into the army of the enemy. He 
was now the invader of his own home and hers. 



252 THE FANATICS 

As long as he fought on the soil of his father's 
state against invasion, he might still have her 
love and sympathy ; but did he not, by this last 
act, forfeit both? Reasoning with a woman's 
narrow vision, she admitted his right to defend 
himself and those he loved against the govern- 
ment, but questioned his privilege to attack it. 
It is not to be denied that sentiment had much 
to do with Mary's point of view. In one role, 
Robert was the prince, in the other, the ogre, 
and she could not quite reconcile herself to sym- 
pathy with the ogre. It was rather a nice ques- 
tion to ask her to decide whether the right of de- 
fence did not carry with it the right of attack. 
There was something of horror in the picture she 
drew of him, riding a marauder over the fields of 
the state that had so long sheltered him. In her 
mind, the whole invasion was narrowed down to 
one man. It was not Morgan and his men — it 
was Robert — Robert, for whom she had left 
home, for whom she had suffered contempt. 
What did it matter to her that John Morgan 
was with him ? What did it matter to her that 
he was one of two thousand ? Then her trend 
of thought began to change. Had he not been 
forced to go where he was? She remembered 
his words to her father on that memorable night. 
" The Confederacy may thank you for another 
recruit ! " Must he not do then as his comrades 



VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 253 

did ? Would it not be cowardice in him to re- 
fuse to go where they went? Would he do 
wrong consciously? She could not believe it. 
After all, she loved him and she would trust him 
blindly, whatever happened. The inevitable 
thing occurred. Her love triumphed. She need 
have asked herself no perplexing questions had 
she only begun with, " Is my love for him strong 
enough to overlook all shortcomings ? " With 
Nannie in the same case, it would have been 
different. There would have been no questions 
at all. She would merely have said, " Well, if 
lie does it, it must be right," and gone on with 
a contented mind. Even Mary was happier for 
her decision, though she reached it after much 
doubt. 

Dorbury heard of the rebel general's daring 
dash into Ohio with an astonishment that was 
only equalled by its anger and terror. There 
had been threats and rumors of some danger 
from Kentucky, but the possibility of it had been 
beyond belief. Now that the thing had really 
come, men stood aghast. Men who had scoffed 
before, now became suddenly serious. Men who 
had wavered in their allegiance, now spoke out 
boldly for the Union when their homes were 
menaced. On every side was the cry " The 
Home Guards, the Home Guards," and old men, 
middle-aged men and beardless youths went 



254 THE FANATICS 

flocking into the armory. " Be sure," said some, 
" if he dares cross into Ohio, there are more be- 
hind him, and it means that they intend to over- 
whelm the state ! " Others said, " They will burn 
Cincinnati, strike here, unless we can check them, 
march on and destroy the capital." 

On any corner, sane men, fanatics and dema- 
gogues could secure audiences to listen to their 
oratory, in which they adjured their hearers to 
rise in their might and drive the invader from 
their sacred soil. 

There were some men in the town who smiled 
and added, " It is a feint, let Morgan come. He 
will not come far." There were not many of 
them. There were others who gathered behind 
the closed blinds of Stephen Yan Doren's house 
to talk of this new development. To them Yan 
Doren spoke confidentially. "I deplore this 
move," he said. " It will take away sympathy 
from the cause of the South, although Morgan is 
only doing what Lincoln has done in the South. 
It is a sorry matter all through, for we have been 
plunged into a war that might have been averted 
by able statesmanship. If worst comes to worst, 
we have only our government to thank, and yet 
it is a bad thing, for nothing will do more to 
cement a feeling of clannishness in the North and 
give these fanatics something to point to than 
this same attempt to fight the devil with fire." 



VISION OF THE BLACK EIDER 255 

Among all the crowding men, the believers in 
different creeds, walked Bradford Waters like an 
Elijah among the prophets of Baal. The news 
was to him as the battle-smoke to the nostrils of 
the war-horse. He seemed like one inspired, and 
it was as if the things that he had longed for had 
been done. There was a look of exaltation on 
his face, but his was an emotion too deep for 
words, though none who saw him needed speech 
of him. 

In her bedroom, his daughter sat staring si- 
lently out of her window, not thinking — hardly 
dreaming — and so night fell on Dorbury. 



CHAPTER XXI 

A VAGUE QUEST 

It is doubtful how long Mary would have sat 
staring out into the darkness had not the en- 
trance of Nannie and her preparations for bed 
disturbed her revery. She also disrobed and was 
soon lying in bed, her eyes wide open and her 
thoughts busy with the events of the day. She 
did not want to talk and so made but brief re- 
plies to Nannie's proffers of conversation. Fi- 
nally, from feigning sleep, she fell into a light 
doze from which she started crying, " The Black 
Rider ! The Black Rider ! " 

The experiences of the last few hours had ex- 
hausted Nannie, and though it was yet early in 
the evening, she was sleeping soundly. Mary re- 
covered herself, and finding that she was not ob- 
served, crept stealthily from the bed. She 
paused for awhile beside the window, and then 
dressed with feverish haste as if spurred by a defi- 
nite purpose. When she was fully clothed she 
stepped quietly down the stairway, and past the 
sitting-room where some of the family were still 
up, and glided out of the house. Why she 

256 



A VAGUE QUEST 257 

was doing so, she herself could not have told, 
but something was dragging or driving her on, 
on, towards the station. She had yet no fixed 
idea where she was going, but she felt in her 
pocket for money and it never occurred to her 
until she found the amount of her fare that from 
the beginning she had intended to go to Cincin- 
nati, though that she did not yet know, the tend- 
ency towards a definite act being rather subcon- 
scious than apprehended. There was just time 
to catch the half-past ten train. She reached 
the station, bought her ticket and sank breath- 
less and dazed into a seat. 

There was a moment's delay, and then the 
train sped away into the darkness. The sum of 
all her impressions was that the Black Eider 
whose face was still concealed from her, flitted 
ever by the side of the coach and just at her 
window. The lights of the town faded from 
view and the river lay behind her a line of sinu- 
ous silver. The sky overhead was besprent with 
pale stars, but she saw only the cloaked and muffled 
man, riding, riding as one rides in a nightmare. 
The train whistled, wheezed and paused at sta- 
tions, and then went panting on, and Mary, 
knowing as little, feeling hardly more than the 
dumb mechanism that carried her, went on upon 
a vague, unknown quest, for what, she could not 
have told. 



258 THE FANATICS 

Prompting her action there was apparently 
no cause or intelligence. Scarcely was there 
even volition. Some force, stronger and wiser 
than she, good or malignant, impelled her for- 
ward whether she would or no. She went on 
not because she would, but because she must. 

The night became suddenly overcast, the sky 
darkened, the stars went out, and as the train 
flew on its way southward, a peal of thunder 
broke from the heavens, and sharp rain began 
pattering against the window. She crouched 
lower in her seat and stared ever out through the 
pane where she could see the mantled figure 
riding, riding. She could hear his horse's hoof- 
beats above the sound of the storm, and her eyes 
sought vainly his face, though she knew and 
could not be deceived in the form. 

When the coach drew into Cincinnati, she 
alighted and still blind, dazed and apparently 
without direction, hastened out and took a car. 
The night was one of inky blackness, the rain 
was coming down in torrents, while intermittent 
flashes of lightning showed her the wet and shin- 
ing streets and the roadways through which she 
was passing. At the call, Avondale, she left the 
car and went on blindly into the night. 

Terror now seized her, terror of the unknown, 
of the darkness, of the mystery in her own wild 
act ; but she could not stop nor turn back. Was 



A YAGUE QUEST 259 

she fleeing from or to something ? Once in a 
moment of consciousness, she asked herself the 
question, but hurried on without answering or 
attempting to answer it. On, through the little 
suburban village and out upon a country road, a 
mile out ; the last house had been passed, the 
last light had flickered out of her sight, and then 
drenched, exhausted, she paused under a huge oak 
and turned her eyes back over the way she had 
come. It was not weariness that made her stop, 
it was a sense of waiting, waiting for something, 
the thing for which she had come. It was per- 
haps a half hour that she had stood there, and 
then the sound of clattering hoofs struck her ear. 
She pressed closer to the tree. A company of 
cavalrymen were approaching. They came at a 
smart canter. Breathlessly, she awaited. They 
were near to her. They were passing, first close 
together, then with gaps between, then scatter- 
ingly. With her physical ear she heard the 
sound of their hoof-beats in the soft, slushy mud, 
but with her inner sense, she heard the sound of 
one horse on dry ground, and her eyes saw but 
one rider, still the black mantled figure of her 
dreams. She heard him, saw him coming nearer, 
nearer, then a flash of lurid lightning lit the 
whole scene, and starting forward from the tree, 
she cried, " Robert, Robert ! " 

As if but one man had heard her, as if her 



260 THE FANATICS 

voice had been intended to reach but one, a 
figure shrouded in a dark cloak, whirled and rode 
from the straggly ranks up to the side of the 
road and dismounted. She stretched her arms 
out. Another flash of lightning showed the 
trooper the white face of the girl beside the tree, 
and with a cry he caught her to him as she fell 
forward. 

" Mary, Mary," he cried, " can it be you ? Are 
you flesh or spirit? My God, what does it 
mean ? " But she was lying cold in his arms. 
The cavalry passed on, stragglers and all. He 
stood there helplessly holding her, one hand 
clutching his horse's bridle. The rain from the 
leaves dripped in her face, and she revived. 

" Robert," she said faintly. 

" What are you doing here ? " he asked. 

" I — I — don't know. I dreamed of you and I 
came. Where am I ? " 

" On the road out of Cincinnati, about two 
miles from Avondale. Who came with you ? " 

" I came alone." 

" Where are you going ? " 

" I don't know. Something sent me to you." 

" You are very weak," he said. 

" I must go back now," she replied. 

" Where will you go ? " 

" I don't know." 

The power that had driven her out, that had 



A VAGUE QUEST 261 

guided her seemed suddenly to have left her help- 
less and without direction. 

The men now were entirely passed, and without a 
word, he lifted her to his saddle and springing 
up behind her, turned his horse's head back to- 
wards the town. 

" God knows what brought you here, darling," 
he whispered close to her ear, " but it was some- 
thing stronger and wiser than us both. It has 
been a long, hard ride with me, and I was losing 
hold, but you have given me strength again. 
People have heard our horses and are aroused, but 
I will take you back where you will be safe. 
Another day," he bent over and kissed her brow, 
" when all of this is over, you shall tell me how 
and why you came to me, love of my heart." 

She nestled closer to him and did not answer. 
There was nothing for her to say, she did not 
understand, he did not understand. He rode 
straight into the town. Dark forms were gath- 
ering upon the corners. Here and there a torch 
flared. 

" I must leave you now, Mary," he said, " the 
power that brought you will care for you. I 
must join my company. God be with you." 

He set her down and was wheeling away, when 
a torch beside him flared. A man cried, " Here's 
one of them ! " 

Van Doren struck spurs to his horse and the 



262 THE FANATICS 

animal clashed away. A hue and cry arose. 
There was a volley of shots, and the night swal- 
lowed the Black Eider. A crowd surrounded 
Mary and led her speechless and confused to the 
nearest house. A few of the bolder spirits fol- 
lowed the rider on foot, until the sound of his 
horse's hoofs had died away into the distance. 

The girl could not give any clear account of 
herself except that she had come from Dor bury 
and had wandered out of her way. Kind 
matrons put her to bed where she fell asleep like 
a child, though she would have rested less easily 
had she known that Robert was swaying, white- 
faced in his saddle, his arm shattered by a bullet. 

All night long, men full of alarm, patroled the 
streets of the village fearing and expecting an 
attack, while women stayed up and brewed tea 
and talked of their night visitor. When Mary 
awoke in the morning, the events of the night 
before were like a dream to her, and though the 
women questioned her closely and eagerly she 
was able to give them little or nothing of the 
satisfaction for which they longed. It was all 
so strange, so unbelievable, that she did not dare 
tell them all that had really happened. There 
were some who said that she must be a spy, and 
there were threats of detaining her, but she made 
it clear where she lived, mentioning the names 
of people whom several of them knew, and so 



A YAGUE QUEST 263 

they put her down as some demented or half- 
witted creature who had lost her way and been 
rescued by the trooper in grey. 

" Well, the hound will have one thing to his 
credit," said the husband of the woman at 
whose house she had slept. 

Her head clear, the girl was anxious now to 
return to her home. The busy little matron, still 
suspecting her sanity, insisted on going with her 
as far as the train, where with many head-shakes 
and mysterious comments, she put Mary in 
charge of the conductor and went away trembling 
for the safety of her protegee. 

The whole Woods household was in an uproar 
of excitement and Nannie was blaming herself 
keenly for negligence when Mary walked in. 

" Oh, Mary, Mary," cried her friend at sight of 
her, " where have you been ? You've given us 
such a fright. We've searched everywhere for 
you." 

But Mary only smiled and kept her counsel. 
" I had to go away," she said. 

" What time did you leave ? " 

Mary smiled again. A little later a message 
came from Bradford Waters saying, " Have you 
found Mary yet ? " 

Nannie blushed. " We thought you had gone 
homeland so we went there." 

" I was not at home," was the only answer. 



264 THE FANATICS 

Whatever it may have meant, the girl herself 
was never able to explain it, but Mary saw no 
more visions and she was happier. 

The puzzle was deep in Robert's mind as he 
rode away from the girl, leaving her to the 
mercies of the gaping townspeople. He had no 
doubt that they would treat her kindly and send 
her home in safety. But the thought that held 
him and made him forget even the pain in his 
arm that grew and grew was how she had come 
there. How had she known where to find him, 
when even the troopers themselves did not know 
whither they were tending ? Who gave the sim- 
ple, emotional girl the information that the gov- 
ernor of Ohio would have given so much to have ? 
There was nothing in the range of Robert's ex- 
perience to explain the phenomenon, so although 
he hugged the memory of her presence to his 
consciousness, he gave up speculation to wait for 
that later day when he had said she would tell 
him. His thoughts now had time to revert to 
his wound, and he found that his sleeve was 
soaked with blood that was fast stiffening in 
spite of the constant downpour. The absorption 
of his attention no longer kept his misery in sub- 
ordination. He began to feel fainter and 
fainter, but clenched his teeth and laid his head 
upon the neck of his good mare. A mile more, 
and the sound of moving men came to his ears. 



A VAGUE QUEST 265 

Then he gained upon them faster and knew that 
they had halted for the night. His head was 
ringing like a chime of bells. His heart throbbed 
painfully and his tongue was parched. Heavier 
and heavier he lay upon the mare's neck, and 
when finally the animal halted in the hastily im- 
provised camp, it was an inert body that had 
to be lifted from her back. 

Already Mary was quietly sleeping in the 
friendly house and no dream or vision told her 
of the lover who was to ride no more with John 
Morgan, but unknown, was to be nursed back to 
life by a good-hearted farmer and his wife. 



CHAPTER XXII 

THE HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 

Through the newspapers, and an occasional 
letter from the field, Bradford Waters was kept 
advised of the movements of his son. With his 
regiment, he had taken part in the engagements at 
Pittsburg Landing, and in all the active opera- 
tions of the Army of Ohio, or, as it was finally 
rechristened, the Army of the Cumberland. He 
had distinguished himself in the terrible fight of 
the 19th of July, and it was as a captain that he 
lay with his company at Chattanooga Creek, en- 
couraging his men by example not to flinch under 
the awful fire which the Confederate batteries 
poured upon them. 

Dorbury knew the privations through which 
her boys were going, the long marches when both 
rest and refreshment were denied, the hardships 
of camp and field and the heroism of patient en- 
durance. Then began that gradual turn of senti- 
ment and feeling for which the battle of Pitts- 
burg Landing and Morgan's raid had proved the 
cue. Another wave of enthusiasm for her 

266 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 267 

patriotic sons swept over the town, and this time, 
had permanent effect. Even Davies scoffed no 
longer and spoke of " our boys " in a tone that 
led Waters to forgive all his past transgressions. 

Tom had always been a favorite at home, but 
men spoke his name now with a new affection. 
After each new engagement in which his regi- 
ment was known to have taken a part, there 
were numerous inquiries at the Waters house as 
to how "the captain" had fared. He was no 
longer a family idol. He had become a public 
hero. 

This pride in a young man's success, is, after 
all, of the vanity which is human. Something 
of credit seems to accrue to the man himself 

when he can say, " What ! Captain , why 

I knew him when he was a boy ! " 

Behind closed doors, Stephen Yan Doren sat 
and read the papers. He had the largeness of 
heart that made him respect a brave man wher- 
ever placed, and now he felt a real pride in the 
son of his enemy. To be sure, in his heart, he 
had misgivings and wished time and again that 
he might read something of his own son of 
whose whereabouts he knew nothing. There 
had come one brief letter some time before the 
raid, and since that, nothing. Why couldn't his 
Bob be a captain, too? His anxiety was shared 
in some degree by Mary, but the pride which 



268 THE FANATICS 

she took in her brother and which Nannie con- 
stantly nourished, left her little time for brooding. 
The summer wore away amid rumors of bat- 
tles, reconnoissances, and skirmishes. The golden 
autumn came, and although so many of the hus- 
bandmen were away reaping strange harvests in a 
strange land, the land smiled with the fullness of 
things, and the ring of scythes could be heard afield. 
Over the little town, over the fair meadows that 
surrounded it, the sun of plenty hung and drove 
away the darkness that the preceding summer 
had known. Morgan had come and gone and 
they felt no fear of another such invasion. 
Terror was dead and the people bent themselves 
joyously to the task of supplying whatever wants 
those at the front expressed. They rested in a 
content and security that even the imminence of 
a battle at Mission Ridge in which their " Own " 
might be engaged failed wholly to destroy. 
Orchard Knob had dealt kindly with them, and 
they began to think of their soldiers as each an 
Achilles with the vulnerable heel secure. Then 
like a tempest from a cloudless sky came the 
news of the battle of November 25th, and Dor- 
bury was silent from sheer amazement. Could 
this thing really have happened to them and 
theirs ? They looked down the list of the dead 
and wounded again. So many of the names 
were familiar. So many were those whom they 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 269 

thought to see again. Tom Waters, Captain. 
Tom, could it be ? Their young hero ? They 
began to awake, and with the awakening the 
place became as a house of mourning. The 
bulletin boards were surrounded by hushed, 
awe-stricken men, while women with white 
faces, hastened up to hear the latest from the 
field. 

It was Davies, who having heard the news, 
went over to break it to Bradford Waters. He 
had not left his office at the warehouse,, and 
only knew from vague rumors that a battle had 
taken place. He was hastening through to get 
out and hear the particulars, when Davies en- 
tered, his white face speaking for him before his 
lips could utter a sound. Waters sprang to his 
feet, and then sank back into a chair. 

" There has been a battle, they tell me," he 
said. 

" Yes," said Davies, with dry lips. 

"Was — was — Tom's name mentioned?" He 
asked the question mechanically as if he already 
knew the answer that was coming. 

Davies was trembling, the tears filled his eyes 
as he went over and laid his hand on the other's 
shoulder. 

" Yes," he answered. " Tom — the captain's 
name, Waters, is among the killed." 

An ashen pallor spread over Waters' seamed 



270 THE FANATICS 

face and his hard hands gripped the desk in front 
of him fiercely. He breathed heavily but did 
not speak. 

"Come, Bradford, come out in the air with 
me." 

Waters rose, but there was a knock at the 
door, and opening it a messenger confronted 
him. It was a telegram from Tom's colonel. 
The old man could hardly read the words, his 
hand trembled so. But he made out that they 
were sending him home. Then Davies saw the 
man's form straighten up and his eye flash as 
with a clear voice he read, " Killed, while lead- 
ing a gallant charge." " Thank God, Davies, he 
died like a soldier." 

There was not a tear in Waters' eye, though 
pride and grief struggled for mastery in his 
voice. Davies, who under all his cynical indif- 
ference was as soft-hearted as a woman, was 
weeping like a child. 

"I gave him unreservedly," the bereaved 
father went on, " and he has given me nothing 
to regret. Come on, I must go home, I must 
set my house in order to receive my son, the 
captain." 

They went out of the house together, Bradford 
Waters' face set and firm. Men looked at him 
shyly upon the street and greeted him briefly. 
They knew how deeply he had loved his son, and 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIJST 271 

feared a break down of his self-control. Men are 
always cowards in the face of grief. But their 
caution was unnecessary. Waters returned their 
civility with a poise of manner almost stern. 
What had he to weep for ? He had laid his son 
upon the altar, and he had proven an acceptable 
sacrifice. Other men might weep for craven 
sons who had left the fighting to others or who 
had trembled under fire. As for him, he must 
be strong. He must walk among men with a high 
head and a step that showed him worthy to be 
the father of such a son. 

Davies left him at the door of his house. He 
heard him say as he entered, "You must look 
sharp, Martha, and have everything in good 
order. The captain is coming home." 

The light was fast fading from the room where 
Waters sat down, but a ray of gold came in 
through the window and touched the pictured 
face of the dead soldier in its place on the 
mantel. The father rose and taking it down 
held it close to his breast. " I gave you to them, 
boy," he murmured, " and they took you, but 
they cannot, they can never take the memory of 
you from, me." 

Some one knocked, and a moment later Martha 
came in, saying, " A gentleman to see you, Mr. 
Waters." 

With perfect self-possession he passed into the 



272 THE FANATICS 

next room, where in the dimness a man stood 
awaiting him. 

" I have dared to come, Bradford," said Stephen 
Yan Doren's voice, " because I knew, and we 
both loved the boy. I thought maybe we 
could shake hands over the memory of a brave 
soldier." 

Waters' form trembled like an aspen. He 
paused in silence, and the moment was full of im- 
port. It was to say what the course of his whole 
future life would be. Whether the iron of his 
nature would be melted or annealed by the fire 
through which he was passing. He took a step 
forward and grasped Van Doren's outstretched 
hand. 

" I am glad you came, Stephen," he said ; " he 
was a brave boy, and you loved him, too." 

" No one could help loving him. He was one 
man among a thousand who was fine enough for 
the sacrifice. Whether my son be alive or dead, 
may I always have as little right to sorrow for 
him as you have for yours to-night." 

Stephen Yan Doren's voice was low, earnest 
and impressive, and it broke down something that 
had stood up very hard and stern in Bradford 
Waters' spirit. The tears welled up into his eyes 
and fell unheeded down his cheeks. He wrung 
Yan Doren's hand. 

" You must stay and talk to me of him, of both 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 273 

of them. Our boys fought on different sides, 
Stephen, but they were both ours." 

"In a time like this, before an example of 
bravery, we forget sides and differences and only 
remember our boys and our love for them." 

For awhile they sat and talked of the dead, 
and of him of whose whereabouts they as yet 
knew nothing, and Waters' heart was lightened 
and softened. 

" You must go away," he said at last to his 
visitor, " I have another thing that I must do. 
Maybe, after all, Stephen, there is a deeper 
meaning in this sacrifice than either of us yet 
sees." 

" May God grant it," was the fervent response. 

" When you hear from Bob, let me know at 
once. You know he was Tom's friend," he added, 
almost joyously. 

As soon as Yan Doren was gone, he gave the 
servant some directions, and then set out for 
Nathan Woods' house, which was no less than 
his own a place of bereavement. The entire 
household was grief -stricken. The two girls bad 
mingled their tears and sought vainly to comfort 
each other in their sorrow. Mary was fairly ex- 
hausted from her grief, and Nannie, seeing that, 
recovered herself sufficiently to minister to the 
weaker girl. 

When Mary found out that her father was be- 



274 THE FANATICS 

low and asking for her, she sprang up with wild 
eyes and fluttering heart. 

" Oh, he has come to reproach me," she said. 
" He will never forgive me." 

" There is no reproach in his face, Mary. I 
think he wants you to be with him when Tom 
comes home." 

Nannie's voice reassured her, and together they 
went down hand in hand. When his daughter 
came into the room, Bradford Waters held forth 
his arms, and with a cry that was half grief, half 
joy, she flung herself into them. 

" Father, father," she sobbed, " what shall we 
do without him ? " 

" What would his country have done without 
him, my dear ? It has taken him, and we must 
give him ungrudgingly." 

Nannie was leaving the room, but with a new 
softness, a quality his voice had never known, he 
put out his hand to her. 

"Come, my other daughter," he said, "you 
loved him too." 

For the three, then, there was no past, no dif- 
ference, no wrong. They were all members of 
one family bound more strongly by a great love 
and a great grief. There was a strange similarity 
apparent in the attitude of Nannie and Bradford 
Waters towards Tom's death. While Mary 
thought almost solely of the brother she had lost, 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 275 

they both seemed to say, " We are glad to give 
him, since we may give him thus." 

" Come, let us go home," said "Waters, " there 
is much to do. Mary, come. Nannie, you must 
go with us. We must go and make ready to re- 
ceive the captain." 

And together they went with him to receive 
the captain. 

The strange idea took Bradford Waters to pre- 
pare for his son's homecoming as if the dead 
could know. Perhaps there did remain to him 
some of the mysticism to which his New England 
birth and ancestry gave him right. It would not 
have assorted illy with his bleak nature. Per- 
haps he believed that Tom would know. How- 
ever it was, he had determined that all should 
be quite as the young man would have liked it 
had he come home with conscious eyes to see and 
light with pleasure at what he saw. 

To Mary the house was very desolate, and a 
rush of sad emotions swept over her as she looked 
at the familiar things arranged by an alien hand. 

" Tom would hardly know the place now, if he 
could see it," she told her father. 

But he replied, " Never mind, never mind, it 
shall all be set right before he comes. He shall 
find nothing to his distaste." 

The saddest duty they had was the arrange- 
ment of his room. The old man still followed his 



276 THE FANATICS 

strange whim, and had the chamber arranged as 
if a living guest were to occupy it. The bed was 
laid as Tom would have had it laid, and the fresh 
sheets turned back as if to receive his tired form. 
In the vases was the late golden-rod, always a 
great favorite with him. But on his pillows were 
the marks of tears which Nannie had shed as she 
smoothed their soft whiteness, and knew that his 
brown head would never press them again. 

To her a great change had come. In spite of 
the pride and fortitude which bore her up, the 
light and spontaneity had gone out of her life. 
She might laugh again, but it would never be 
with the old free ring. In spirit, she was already 
Tom's wife, and she was now as much widowed 
as any woman who had followed her husband to 
the grave. That she bore her burden better than 
Mary, was largely due to the practical strength 
of her love for Tom. Had he lived, she would 
have been glad to welcome and help him. As he 
was dead, she was no less his and waited the 
time when she might join him. Mary might 
weep for him, but she would wait for him, be- 
lieving that no such love as hers was given to 
mortals to wither and die without fruition. This 
love held her so utterly above ordinary opinions 
and conventions that she did not think to ask 
what would be said of her entering her lover's 
house as one of the family. It was nothing to 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 277 

her. It was a matter of course. There was a 
certain joy in feeling that she had the right to 
help and in seeing hour after hour that Tom's 
father and sister leaned more and more upon her 
strength. 

It was on the third day after the news of the 
battle that Tom's body was brought home, one 
mute mourner accompanying it — Nigger Ed. 
Those were strenuous times and there was no 
opportunity for fine courtesies, for escorts and 
officer pall-bearers, even for that brave one, but 
the flag was wrapped around him, the flag he had 
fought and died for. 

His father was very calm as he looked at the 
boyish face so cold and still before him. Death 
had been kind to the soldier and had come 
quickly, leaving him almost unaltered. He lay 
as if he had fallen asleep with bright dreams of 
a purposeful to-morrow. There was none of the 
horror or dread of battle impressed upon his 
marble countenance, nothing that could cause the 
woman who loved him best of all to shrink from 
him. 

Bradford Waters stooped and kissed his son's 
brow. There was a smile on his own lips. 
Even Mary forgot to weep. This was the maj- 
esty, the beauty of death. Nannie hovered over 
him as she would over a flower. They were 
alone together — these three, when a knock, soft 



278 THE FANATICS 

and hesitating, fell upon the door. Bradford 
opened it to find without the negro Ed. He 
silently motioned him to enter. 

" Dey tol' me to gin you dis when you was 
settled," he said. He handed Waters a letter. 
It was from Colonel Bassett, Tom's commanding 
officer, and ran, 

" Dear Sir, I wish I knew how to pay tribute 
to the finest man and most gallant gentleman I 
ever knew — your son. I wish I might have 
shown him the respect that I feel and come with 
his body to see it laid in its last resting-place, but 
this is war. I would condone with you, sir, but 
that I know the father of such a son must be 
proud to have had him die where and as he 
did." 

It was a soldier's letter and though Waters 
read it with trembling voice, his eyes glowed and 
he looked at the still form as if to say, " I would 
not have had it otherwise." 

Ed was still standing, waiting for the father to 
speak. But Waters said nothing. The negro 
shifted uneasily, then he said anxiously, " Is you 
mad at me, Mistah Watahs ? Has de cunnel said 
anythin' ? Dey wouldn't have sont me home 
wid him, but I baiged, 'cause I kinder thought 
you'd ravah have somebody — dat knowed him — 
bring him back." 

Waters reached out and grasped the black 



HOMECOMING OF THE CAPTAIN 279 

man's hand. " Why, God bless you forever and 
ever," he said. 

The privacy of the family even with its dead 
could not long be maintained. Dorbury had 
suspended business. This hero was theirs as well 
as his family's. They filled the sidewalks, they 
surged at the doors. They would see him. They 
would bring their flowers to lay beside his bier. 
He belonged to them, to them, who had helped 
to send him forth and had cheered his departure. 
Bradford Waters should not be selfish in his 
grief. The boys from the factories and ware- 
houses came, and also from the shops, those who 
had known him and those who had not. All 
men know a hero. And the father said, " Let 
them come in, he will be glad to see them." 

And so " the captain " came home. 



CHAPTEK XXIII 

A TROUBLESOME SECRET 

For a long time curiosity was rampant in a 
little country district not very far from Cincin- 
nati. It was the proverbial rural locality where 
every one knows or wishes to know the business 
of every one else, and is offended if he doesn't. 
In this particular place, the object of interest was 
a white farmhouse set forward on the road, and 
fronting ample grounds both of field and garden. 
It was the home of John Metzinger, a pros- 
perous German husbandman and his good wife, 
Gretchen. They were pleasant, easy-going peo- 
ple, warm-hearted and generous. Their neigh- 
bors had always looked upon them with favor, 
until one day — it was early in August, the eye of 
suspicion fell upon the house. Those who had 
lived near the Metzingers, and those who merely 
passed upon the road to and from town began to 
point questioning fingers at the place and to look 
askance at it. The gossips shook their heads and 
whispered together. 

It all began with one woman who had uncere- 

280 



A TKOUBLESOME SECRET 281 

moniously " dropped in " on the couple ; " drop- 
ping in" consisting of pushing open the door 
and entering unannounced by the formality of a 
knock. The easy-going neighbor had pursued 
this course only to find the door of an inner 
room hastily closed and the good wife profuse in 
embarrassed expostulations. Mrs. Metzinger was 
not good at dissimulation, and her explanation 
that the room was all torn up for she was house- 
cleaning served but to arouse her visitor's sus- 
picion. In her own words as she told it many 
times later, she said with fine indignation, 
" Think o' her sayin' to me that she was cleanin' 
house, an' she with as spick an' span a white 
apern on as ever you see. Says I to her, ' Ain't 
you pickin' out a funny time to clean, Mrs. 
Metzinger?' and she says with that Dutch 
brogue o' hers, ' Oh, I cleans anydimes de place 
gets dirty.' Then I says ca'm like, because I've 
alius liked that woman, * I should think you'd 
get yer apern dirty,' an' all of a sudden she 
jerked it off an' stood there grinnin' at me ; but 
that was what give her away, for lo, an' behold, 
her dress was as clean as my bran' new calico. 
Then I says, ' Well, never min', I'll just come in 
an' help you,' an' would you believe it, that 
woman got right in my way an' wouldn't let me 
go in that room, all the time jabbering some- 
thing about 'Nod troublin' me.' Right then an' 



282 THE FANATICS 

there, thinks I, there's something wrong in that 



room." 



She closed her remarks as one who says, 
" There's murder behind that door." 

Her hearers were struck by her tragic presen- 
tation of the case, and they too, began to watch 
for signs of guilt in the Germans. These were 
soon plentiful. None was more convincing than 
that a room that had always been open to the 
light had now its blinds closed. Some one had 
said too, that they had seen the doctor's gig at 
the door one night, and had waited for him to 
come out. But on questioning him, as any man 
has a right to do, " Who's sick, doctor ? " he had 
sprung into his vehicle, put whip to his horse 
and dashed away without answering. This in 
itself, looked dark. For why should a doctor of 
all men, refuse to be questioned about his pa- 
tients ? The little scattered community for 
three or four miles and even further up and 
down the road was awe-struck and properly in- 
dignant. Such communities have no respect for 
reticence. 

Meanwhile the trouble went on, and the Metz- 
ingers grew in disfavor. What had been friendly 
greetings degenerated into stiff nods or grew 
into clumsily veiled inquiries. While their 
neighbors lost sleep asking each other what 
horror was going on behind those closed doors, 



A TROUBLESOME SECRET 283 

the simple couple went on about their duty and 
kept their counsel. It was really not so much 
the horror that the community resented but that 
the particulars of it were being kept from them. 

If the Metzingers could have told their story, 
it would have proved, after all, a very short and 
simple one. It would have been to the effect 
that late one night towards the end of July, 
they had been awakened by the tramping of feet 
and a knocking upon their door. Going thither, 
they had found four men unkempt and mud- 
stained, who bore between them another, evi- 
dently wounded. They had brought him and 
laid him upon the sofa, and then with promises, 
that were half threats, had left him in their care. 
They came then to know who their visitors were ; 
some of " Morgan's terrible men." Their prom- 
ises to respect the farmer's stock had not been 
needed to secure attention for their wounded 
comrade, for the good wife's heart had gone out 
already to the young fellow who lay there so 
white and drabbled with blood. 

John Metzinger would have told, though his 
good wife would never have mentioned it, how 
all that night and the next day, Gretchen had 
hovered over the wounded man, bandaging his 
arm, bathing it, and doing what she could to 
ease the pain, while the sufferer muttered strange 
things in his sleep and tossed like a restless child. 



284 THE FANATICS 

They could not get a doctor until the next 
night, for they knew that all must proceed with 
secrecy, and when the physician came, the fever 
had already set in and the chances for the man's 
recovery seemed very slight. 

They could have told too, of the doctor's long 
fight with the fever, and what the gossips did 
not know, how one night two physicians came 
and amputated the wounded arm at the elbow. 
Then of the long fight for life through the hot 
August days, of the terrible nights when Death 
seemed crowding into the close room and the 
sufferer lay gasping for breath. But they told 
nothing. Silently they went their way, grieved 
by the distrust of those about them, but unfalter- 
ing in their course. And when Yan Doren first 
looked up weakly enough into the German 
woman's face, his eyes full of the gratitude he 
could not speak, both she and her John were re- 
paid for all that they had suffered. 

The woman fell upon her knees by the bed- 
side saying, " Dank Got, dank Got, he vill gid 
veil now, Shon," and " Shon" who was very big 
and very much a man, pressed his wife's hand 
and went behind the door to look for something 
that was not there. 

With the cooler weather of autumn came 
more decided convalescence to the young trooper, 
but the earliest snows had fallen before he was 



A TEOUBLESOME SECEET 285 

able to creep to the door that looked out upon 
the road. He was only the shadow of his former 
self. Mrs. Metzinger looked at him, full of 
pity. 

"I guess you petter led de toctor wride by 
your home now. Dey vill vant to hear from 
you." 

" Not yet, not yet," he protested. " It would 
cause my father too much anxiety, and some 
others perhaps, too much joy to know how I am 
faring." 

" Your poor fader, dough, he vill be vorried 
aboud you." 

" Father knows the chances of war and he will 
not begin to worry yet. It would grieve him so 
much more to know that I am out of it all so 
soon." 

" Mister Robert," said the woman impressively, 
"you don't know faders. Dey vas yoost like 
modders, pretty near, und modders, alvays vants 
to know ; if he is veil, she is glad und she dank 
Got for dat. If he is det, she vants to gry und 
gry ofer dose leedle shoes dot he used to vear." 

" He shall know, he shall know, Mrs. Metz- 
inger, and very soon, for I am going home to 
him and his joy will make him forget how long 
he has waited." 

" Yes, I guess maype dot is so." 

Robert had divined more by instinct than by 



286 THE FANATICS 

any outward demonstration of his hosts that his 
secret stay in the house had aroused in their 
neighbors some sort of feeling against these peo- 
ple. He was perfectly sure that should he write 
to his father, he would come to him in spite of 
everything, and at any stir or unusual commo- 
tion about the house, what was only smouldering 
now might burst into flame. So, although it 
wrung his heart to do so, living within sixty 
miles of his father, he kept his lips closed and 
gave no sign. His heart had gone out to these 
people who had sacrificed so much for him, and 
he wanted to do something in return for them. 
At first, because of his very weakness, they had 
forborne to question him about his home and peo- 
ple, and when he was strong enough to act, he 
had unconsciously accepted this silence as his sac- 
rifice, without divining that he was not the real 
sufferer, not the real bearer of the burden. 

He had promised that he would go home soon, 
but the case had been a severe one, and it was 
December before he dared to venture out beyond 
the gate. Sometimes, when the days were warm 
and bright, he would sit wrapped up on the 
porch at the side, for the need of secrecy gone, 
the Metzingers were openly and humanly un- 
humble. They bowed proudly, even jauntily to 
their detractors, while the priest and the Levites 
passed by on the other side. There were no 



A TROUBLESOME SECRET 287 

good Samaritans about save the Metzingers them- 
selves, and their little devices might have gone 
unobserved, but that the priest and the Levites 
were curious people, and at last, came over to. 
question. 

"Who is the sick young man?" they ques- 
tioned. 

"He iss a friend of ours from de var," Mrs. 
Metzinger answered them. 

" We'd like to talk to him," they volunteered. 

"No, he must not talk to beoples, not yet," 
was the answer. 

" Why don't he wear his uniform ? " Robert 
wore a suit of " Shon's " jeans. 

"It was yoost ruint and all spoilt mit blood." 

But they looked at Robert askance, and the 
gossip which for awhile from inaction had fal- 
tered, sprang up anew. Who was he ? Why so 
little about him ? Why had they kept the secret 
so long ? 

The good people saw with dismay what they 
had done. They had only aroused the trouble 
which they had hoped to allay. Van Doren saw 
their trouble and determined immediately to re- 
lieve them. 

" I am going home now," he told them one 
day. 

" You are not yet so strong." 

" Oh, yes I am. I'm quite a giant now." 



288 THE FANATICS 

"Vat you dinks Shon? Iss he strong 
enough ? " 

"I dinks he gan stay here so long as he 
vants." 

" But I am going, my good friends, it's best for 
us all." 

"Yy?" 

" I have seen how the neighbors look at me 
and I have seen how they look at you. You 
shan't hurt yourselves any longer." 

" Dat iss not right. We care nodings for de 
neighbors. Ye minds our own business." 

Mrs. Metzinger's husband said something under 
his breath, only a word it was, but it made his 
wife gasp and cry, " Shon, for shame on you ! " 

"I'm going," Robert went on, "either with 
your consent or without. I don't know how I'm 
ever going to thank you. You've both been so 
good. It's nasty in a case like this to think of 
pay. I can't do it decently, but I'm going to do 
it. It's the nearest way a brute of a man can 
come to showing his appreciation." 

" No pay," said John. 

" Not vun cent," said his wife. 

" Ye had some gompany," Gretchen put in. 

Robert smiled on ; they were so like big 
children. 

" I am not going to let you two cheat me out 
of showing my gratitude by any such excuse." 



A TKOUBLESOME SECEET 289 

Gretchen wept and John caused his wife to 
exclaim again, but it was of no use, and just at 
dusk, the old carryall took him away to the sta- 
tion, still in his host's suit, the empty sleeye 
turned up, and the stump of arm flapping at his 
side. 

It was about an hour after John had gone 
with Eobert to the station, that Mrs. Metzinger 
heard footsteps, and going to the door saw sev- 
eral men without. 

" We want that man that's stayin' here," said 
the leader. 

"He's yoost gone to his home in Dorbury." 

"In Dorbury — why we thought — what side 
was he on ? " 

Mrs. Metzinger drew herself up in dignified 
anger and said, " I don'd dink Got has any sides, 
Deacon Callvell," then she slammed the door, 
and the deacon and his " Committee" went away 
feeling small, and glad that it was dark, while 
Mrs. Metzinger rocked out her pious anger until 
the floor cried again. 



CHAPTEE XXIV 

ROBERT VAN DOREN GOES HOME 

There was no blare of trumpets, no popular 
acclaim to greet Kobert Yan Doren's home- 
coming. He entered Dorbury alone and unwel- 
comed, weary and sick at heart. It was half -past 
eight o'clock when his train drew into the famil- 
iar station, and the winter night had settled 
heavy and black. A familiar form came towards 
him as he walked down the platform, and sadly 
changed as he was, he saw the light of recogni- 
tion in the man's eyes. The next instant, he was 
looking at the stern lines of an averted face. He 
shuddered and hurried on as rapidly as his weak- 
ness would allow. Although he had often in his 
moments of convalescence pictured dimly how he 
would be received at home, yet the actuality was 
so much stronger and harsher than any anticipa- 
tion of it could be that he was quite unmanned. 
For the first time it came to him that he was an 
alien in the land of his adoption, and even upon 
the dark streets, he shrank from the people he 
met because he knew his face would be to them 

290 



YAJST DOREN GOES HOME 291 

as a leper's, and even the empty sleeve, the badge 
of honor to so many of them, would read only to 
these people, " Unclean, unclean." 

He was bending his steps towards his father's 
house, absorbed in bitter thoughts, when a sort 
of divination, rather than the appearance of 
things roused him from his revery. He looked 
around upon the place, the houses, the lawns, and 
then a lighted window caught his eye and he 
realized that he was passing Bradford Waters' 
house. 

" I wonder if she is back at home ? " he said. 
" I caused her so much grief." He passed 
through the gate, and crept up to the window. 
The light shone through a thin shade, but he 
could see nothing within the house. After a 
short while, however, he heard the sound of 
women's voices, and one was hers. Without 
warning, all the pent-up feeling of the past three 
years burst forth in the cry, " Mary ! " 

" What's that ? " cried some one within, but 
there was no answer save the hurried tread of 
feet across the floor. Aware of what he had 
done, he was hurrying away, when the front 
door was thrown open, and he saw her before 
him standing in a flood of light. Then he could 
not go. He stood transfixed until she walked 
down the steps to him crying, " Robert, Robert, I 
was sure you would come ! " And all he could 



292 THE FANATICS 

do was to bow his head and murmur, " Thank 
God." 

She took him by the hand and led him into the 
house, he unresisting. 

" Here is Robert," she said to Nannie. " Did 
I not tell you he would come ? " 

" Yes, and I am glad with you." Her greet- 
ing of Robert was tender, almost sisterly. As 
soon as she could do so tactfully, she left the 
room, and Yan Doren's glance followed her 
questioningly. He could not understand her 
subdued manner, her sad face. Mary saw the 
look in his eyes and asked, 

" Do you not know, then ? " 

" No," he answered, " what is it ? " 

" Tom." 

" Tom— not— dead ? " 

" Dead, yes." 

"Killed?" 

" Yes, at Mission Ridge, nearly a month ago," 
and she told of all that had happened, while he 
sat like one dazed. 

Finally he broke in, " Tom dead, I living, why 
is this ? Why this choice of the brave instead of 
the lukewarm, the soldier instead of the raider ? " 

" Robert, Robert, you are not yourself. I 
weep for my brother, but you, I have you 
still." 

For answer he raised his empty sleeve. 



VAN DOKEISr GOES HOME 293 

"Ah, Robert, you don't know. I love you. 
Here are two arms — yours." 

He kissed her cheek silently, and then a sound 
made them start apart and stare into each other's 
faces with parted lips. Some one was on the 
step. There was but one person whom it could 
be. 

" Quick, quick," said Mary, opening a door 
into the next room. " In here." And Robert 
hurried in just as Bradford "Waters entered, find- 
ing Mary troubled and embarrassed. He stood 
looking at her with a sad face, and then he said, 

"Mary, you grieve me very much. Has all 
the past been so hard that you cannot forget it ? 
Has not the past month proven that I am a 
changed man and that you need hide nothing 
from me ? " 

" Yes, father, forgive me." And going to the 
door she called, " Eobert ! " 

Yan Doren came in with a defiant look on his 
face which vanished at sight of Waters' out- 
stretched hand. 

" Why — why — Mr. Waters," he stammered 
confusedly. 

" Yes, yes, I know, my boy, but I'm glad to 
see you back, Robert." 

Robert grasped the old man's hand and wrung 
it warmly. " I'm so glad you're reconciled to 
me, you didn't like me before." 



294 THE FANATICS 

" ISTo more of that, no more of that. I always 
liked you, but I didn't like your principles. I've 
seen sorrow though, and I look at things differ- 
ently." 

" Mary has told me and it grieved me 
much." 

" You know then, that the captain has come 
home ? " 

" Yes, would to God that I might have come 
like that." 

" Tut, tut, have you been home ? " 

" No, I was on my way there, when I heard 
Mary's voice and stopped." 

" You must go to him at once now, he will be 
overjoyed." 

" Do you think I dare go to him myself ? I'm 
afraid he thinks me dead." 

" I have no doubt. Let Mary go with you 
and break the news to him. Go on." 

Mary hastened to put on her hat and cloak, 
and together the two went out, leaving the old 
man standing by the mantel looking at them 
with strange tenderness. Robert turned at the 
door and looked back. " You will never know 
what you have done, Mr. Waters, to make my 
homecoming less than a tragedy to me," he said 
huskily. 

" It was Tom, not I," said Waters gently. 

The house looked very dismal as Mary and 



YAN DOREN GOES HOME 295 

Robert approached it, and the latter's heart 
failed him. 

" Has my father seemed to grieve much ? " he 
asked. 

" He has been absorbed and preoccupied, but 
his faith was like mine. We knew you would 
come back." 

"I have heard of the faith that is stronger 
than death, but I always thought it a meaning- 
less phrase until now. Bless you both." 

Stephen Yan Doren was drowsing by his 
library fire when Mary was admitted, but with 
the courtesy of his kind, he rose and went nimbly 
to meet her, apologizing meanwhile for his dress- 
ing-gown and slippers. 

"But, my dear child," he exclaimed, "what 
brings you here at this hour ? " 

" Mr. Yan Doren," Mary faltered, her face all 
aglow. 

" Stop," he exclaimed, " whether the dead can 
come to life or not, no girl can show a face like 
that, unless she has seen her lover. What is it ? " 

" I have seen him, he is here in the hall." 

Yan Doren took a step forward, and then 
stood trembling, but Robert had thrown the 
door open and rushed to his father. 

" Father ! " 

" My boy ! " 

This was in the days before men grew too old 



296 THE FANATICS 

to embrace their fathers, and bearded cheeks and 
lips met. The father's arms were about his son 
and the empty sleeve fell under his hand. He 
held it up and then pushed his son from him. 
His head drooped sadly for a moment, but there 
was a look of exaltation on his face. 

"Father — father, don't let that grieve you. 
I — I — lost it honorably." 

Stephen Van Doren's head went up like a 
bull's when he scents resistance. " Grieve me," 
he cried, and then turning to Mary, he said, 
" Now, my dear, I can show your father that and 
talk to him upon more nearly equal terms. 
Why, boy, you've won your spurs, if you haven't 
got them. To us of the newer land, an empty 
sleeve, when gallantly won is what the Victoria 
Cross is to an Englishman." 

Robert flushed and moved away a pace further 
from his father. " But you do not know all." 

" All ? You said it was won honestly — that is 
enough." 

The young soldier looked appealingly at Mary. 
" I shall have to tell you all," he said. 

" I will go, Robert," she said ; " it was wrong 
for me to stay so long, but this meeting has given 
me such joy as I have never known before." 
She turned towards the door. 

" You must not go," he cried, detaining her, 
" it is for you also to know. It belongs to you." 



VAN DOREN GOES HOME 297 

" To me ? " 

" To you — yes." 

"How?" 

"You remember that night of nights," he 
asked her softly. " Do they know of it ? " 

" No, I have never dared to tell them so wild 
a story." 

" I will tell it now, then." 

" You may, Robert, they will believe you, every 
one will." 

Then briefly Robert told his father of the 
strange meeting with Mary that had resulted in 
his wound. " I don't know what you will say," 
he ended, " and I don't know what it means." 

"It means God," said his father solemnly. 
" He sent her. Think of it as an old man's fancy 
if you will, but he lighted one of his own torches 
at the moment that you might see each other's 
faces." 

" Oh, Robert," cried Mary. " Then it was for 
me ? " 

" Yes, darling. Father forgive us, but Mary 
is glad." 

" Why, Mary, child, you show more sense than 
that great hulking, one-armed hero." 

" Hero — father ! " 

"The man who is old enough to have done a 
noble deed and is not old enough to know it, 
should be sent into a closet like a child." 



298 THE FANATICS 

" He does know it — he must know it. Eobert, 
you must see it." 

" Hero " was the word running through young 
Yan Doren's brain and he did not understand. 
He felt Mary's arms about him, he felt his 
father's hand pressing his own and his thoughts 
grew hazy. "Hero," how could he be a hero 
when he was lying helpless when the best fight- 
ing was going on, when — though he dared not 
say it — he did not even know if his heart were 
wholly with the cause. 

His father's voice broke in upon his revery. 
" Bob, you are the — well, look here, don't you 
see what kind of a man he must be who dares to 
ride away from his comrades and into the face of 
the enemy, and alone, to save a woman ? " 

" Yes, don't you see, Rob ? " said Mary eagerly. 

" Why, I loved her," said Robert. " I loved 
her, and forgive me, father, more than my cause." 

" Unless you had had that in you that made 
your cause strong and noble, you could not have 
done it even for love." 

" Have I pleased you ? " 

" I am proud to be your father." 

" And Mary, I didn't want to tell you — are 
you hurt ? " 

" Hurt with the sort of a hurt that a woman — " 
she started impulsively towards her lover and 
then paused abashed. 



YAN DOKEIST GOES HOME 299 

" Never check a good impulse," said old Van 
Doren. " I am now looking at the portrait of 
my grandfather." 

The two young people improved the opportu- 
nity. The old man showed consideration in 
the length of time he spent admiring the portrait. 
But a hurried knock on the door recalled their 
attention. 

A servant with a frightened face entered. 
" There's a lot of men at the door," he said. 

"What do they want?" asked Van Doren 
sternly. 

" They — they say that there is a rebel in here, 
and they want him." 

" Go back to them and say," said the old man, 
his voice ringing like a trumpet, " that there is 
no rebel here, but a soldier and the son of a sol- 
dier, and if they want to see him, he is at their 
service when he knows their business with him." 
The servant retired. 

" The hounds have begun to bay already," said 
Kobert, his face set and dogged, though he patted 
Mary's hair as she clung fearfully to him. 

" The hounds ! " said his father, bringing from 
his desk a brace of pistols that had seen service, 
" you mean the curs. The hounds know their 
true game. Can you use your left hand ? " 

" As well as my right." 

The father tried vainly to hide his satisfaction 



300 THE FANATICS 

as he handed his son a weapon. Outside a clamor 
arose, which grew louder and louder, and the 
servant came flying back. " They say you must 
come out." 

" So they are afraid to chance it where there's 
a man's chance," said Robert. " Come, father, let 
us go to them. You are right, they are curs, not 
hounds, after all." 

Mary moved forward with them. 

"No, dear, stay here." 

" I will not, Robert, I have no fear for myself. 
I am going with you. If you die, I do not want 
to live. I am going." 

" Think of your father." 

"Do you think of my brother? Would he 
have me do less ? " 

The cries were growing fiercer every moment, 
and the father at the door cried, " Come on," and 
stepped out as if eager to meet a crowd of en- 
thusiastic admirers. They passed along the hall, 
threw open the front door and stepped out into 
the blaze of light which fell from the chandelier 
within. At their appearance a hoarse cry rose 
from the lips of the mob, for mob it was, low, ig- 
norant, infuriated. 

" There he is — the rebel ! " 

" Rebel's too good for him — copperhead's the 
name ! " 

" Traitor ! " 



YAN DOKEJST GOES HOME 301 

"Coward!" 

They stood calmly upon the steps, the three. 
Robert, pale but dauntless ; his father as fixed as 
a statue, and Mary just behind them, like a spirit 
of Justice, with eyes unbound. 

When their attitude had somewhat quieted the 
tumult, Stephen Van Doren spoke, and his voice 
was calm and hard. " Well, gentlemen," he said, 
" what is it that you want of us ? " 

" We want your son. We want that damned 
copperhead that's joined the rebels and been kill- 
ing our boys. That's what we want," came the 
reply in fifty voices. 

" There is no traitor and no copperhead here," 
Van Doren went on. " My son, it is true, is here," 
and he bowed to Kobert as if he were delivering 
a complimentary address, " but he is none of the 
things which you name. He is a man who has 
fought for his convictions, and has returned here 
where he has as good a right as any of you. He 
is here, I say, and if any or all of you want him, 
damn you, come and take him ! " 

The old man's voice had risen, and at the mo- 
ment both he and Robert, as if by a preconcerted 
signal, raised their pistols and levelled them at the 
foremost ranks of the mob. Intimidated at this 
defiance, the crowd fell back. Just then a rock 
hurtled past Van Doren's head, and crashed 
through a window. The noise was like an elec- 



302 THE FANATICS 

trie shock to the rabble's failing energies, and 
with the cry, " Come on, rock them ! " they started 
forward again, those behind forcing the front 
ranks. 

" Try not to kill any of the fools," the father 
whispered briefly to his son. 

They were both pressing their triggers and the 
forward men were on the first step, when a new 
cry, " Waters, Waters ! " checked their advance, 
and a man with flowing white hair who had been 
thrusting his way through the crowd, also 
mounted the step. The mob thought it had found 
a new champion, and again yelling, "Waters, 
Waters ! " rushed forward, but Waters turned 
and faced them, waving his arms. 

" Back, back, you cowards ! " he cried. They 
paused in amazement, as he backed slowly up the 
steps. When they took in his meaning, they at- 
tempted another rush, but he stood above them, 
and suddenly from beneath his coat he tore a long 
whip with leaden tipped thongs. 

" Back," he cried, wielding it with terrific force 
into the faces and over the heads of the leaders. 
" Take this, this is for dogs. Back to your ken- 
nels, I say ! " 

His face was terrible, and the men in front 
quickly turned and began fighting their way to 
the rear. Others followed, and a panic seized 
upon them. When Waters stood alone, and the 



VAN DOKEN GOES HOME 303 

mob at a safe distance began sullenly to gather, 
some one shouted, " If it wasn't for your son's 
sake, Waters, we'd kill you." 

Waters indicated that he wished to speak, 
and they became silent with the silence of watch- 
ful beasts. 

" If it were not for my son's sake ! " he said. 
" I gave him for the cause of right and decency, 
and I am willing to give myself. What right 
has any of you who joins so cowardly an attack 
as this to take upon his lips the name of a brave 
man ? Let never a man who was in this mob to- 
night utter my son's name again, or by the God 
who rules over us, I will kill him ! " A breath 
like a shudder passed over the rabble, and Waters 
went on, " I have lost and I have the right to 
demand the full worth of my sacrifice, and you 
who know my loss, have no right to deny me 
this." He moved up beside Robert, and putting 
his hand on his shoulder, said, " This man shall 
stand to me in lieu of the son I have lost, and 
his empty sleeve shall be the sign of an eternal 
compact between us, the badge of honor which 
it is. He is mine, not yours. Mine, by the 
blood of my son, mine by the void in my heart. 
Touch him, if you dare ! Go home," and he 
began moving down the steps, his whip grasped 
tightly in his hand. " Go home, I say, or I'll 
whip you there." 



304 THE FANATICS 

The mob fell back, and just then the orderly- 
tramping of feet was heard and a rush was made 
in an opposite direction as the police arrived on 
the scene, late and reluctant. 

The four turned and went silently into the 
house. They sat silent, too, in the library, all 
too tense for speech, until Waters said, " Come, 
Mary, let us go. You need have no fear of 
further trouble, Bob, the captain will be about. 
Steve, I disagree with you very much in your 
last article in the Diurnal. You are all wrong, 
but I'll talk to you about that to-morrow. Good- 
night. Come, Mary. It is strange how fanatical 
some men will be on a subject." 



CHAPTEK XXY 

CONCLUSION 

In the after days, it was as Bradford Waters 
had said, and Robert Yan Doren experienced no 
further trouble at the hands of the mob. In- 
deed, no man was willing to be known as having 
been a member of the party. When it was talked 
about in public, men turned their faces away and 
did not meet each others' eyes. In so small a 
town, it was inevitable that many of the partici- 
pants in such an affair should be known, but no 
name was ever mentioned, and the matter was 
not pressed. However, there was something sus- 
picious about the manner in which some men 
avoided Bradford Waters, and kept silent when 
others spoke his son's name. 

In the close counsels which took place between 
the two families, formerly so far apart, Robert 
had suggested that perhaps it would be better 
for him to go away from Dorbury to some place 
where he was not known ; but both Waters and 
his father strenuously objected to that. 

" No," said the latter, " there are times when 

305 



306 THE FANATICS 

concessions must be made to the prejudices of 
people. There are other times when it is no less 
than righteous to ride them down." 

" Your father is right. Had I lived in the 
South with my early training and bent of 
thought, I should have had no better sense 
than to stand up for my principles just as he 
did. I should have resented any Southerner's 
question of my right to do so. The trouble with 
us all is that we will not allow others the right 
which we demand for ourselves." 

"I think the trouble with us all is that we 
talk a great deal about free thought and free 
speech, meaning that others shall have both as 
long as they think and speak as we do. No, 
Eob, you stay right here. Dorbury's got to ac- 
cept you just as you are." 

And Kobert stayed. There were those who 
looked askance at him, and those who could not 
be reconciled to him, but no one troubled him. 
As the war drew to a close, and the continued 
victories of the Union filled the people with en- 
thusiasm, they even began to grow friendly to- 
wards him, but he was slow to receive their ad- 
vances. He was much with Mary and the stream 
of their love that had been so turbulent, now 
flowed smoothly and sweetly. Together, they 
tried to cheer Nannie. " Cheer " is hardly the 
word either, for she had never lost a certain 



CONCLUSION 307 

lightness of spirit that would not let her be en- 
tirely cast down. But they tried to bring back 
the old gayety of her manner that had been her 
chief charm. She was now back and forth be- 
tween the Waters' and her own home, and was 
full of the sweetness of good words and good 
works on every hand. She was called " Little 
Miss Nannie," and men had already begun to 
pay to her that delicate deference which is 
given to a woman who will never marry. She 
was always, and would always be " Miss Nannie." 

" I wish, Nannie," Mary said to her one day, 
"that I could give you a part of my happiness." 
Nannie laughed. 

" You poor child," she said, " don't you know 
that I am very happy. I am happier than any 
one could ever imagine. I have a lover who 
will always be young and a love that cannot 
grow cold. Don't worry about me, I am blest 
beyond most women." 

So they let her go her way and their hearts 
ceased to ache for her as they saw how cheerful 
she grew with the joy of doing good. So Nannie 
began, and so she went on through the years until 
the end, like a fair flower dying away in its own 
perfume. There was no selfishness in her sub- 
dued sweetness, for when the soldiers came back 
no one was dearer to them than their dead cap- 
tain's sweetheart. 



308 THE FANATICS 

The horror of the war has been written of, the 
broken homes and the broken hearts, but many a 
life was made sweeter for the fiery trial through 
which it passed. Stephen Yan Doren was 
stern and implacable until the end. Robert was 
with him when the news of the surrender came. 
A shiver passed over his body as if he himself, 
were the Confederacy which was dying. Then 
he took his son's hand, and said with a smile, 
"Well, a principle has been tested and failed. 
We must submit to the inevitable. From now 
on — it is the Union," and he opened his window 
to hear the bells and whistles that proclaimed 
the people's rejoicings. 

The war was ended, but there were gaping 
wounds to bind up and deep sores that needed 
careful nursing. The country had been drenched 
with fraternal blood and the stench of it was an 
ill savor in the nostrils of both North and South. 
Grant was a hero, but men were asking, " What 
is McClellan ? " The homecoming soldiers, worn 
and weary with the long campaign, were being 
dropped along the waj^side from every train. 
Some homes were hung with evergreens for glad- 
ness and others were draped with cypress for 
those who would never come back. Dorbury had 
its share of joy and grief. There were returns 
and there were messages from those who would 
not return; from lovers, husbands, fathers and 



CONCLUSION 309 

brothers. But above the note of sadness was one 
of joy, for joy is more persistent than grief, if 
shorter lived. 

A little after Appomattox, Robert and Mary 
were married and went to live in a little home of 
their own where the two fathers were destined 
to come many an evening thereafter to fight 
over the war, talk politics and wrangle as 
heartily as ever. 

Down in Virginia wounded and broken and 
sore, her heart bleeding for her lost cause and 
her lost sons ; her fields devastated, and her re- 
sources depleted, a solemn tone characterized the 
thanksgiving for the war's end. Walter Stewart 
thanked God for the triumph of the Union, but 
wept for the grief of his state. Just about the 
time that Eobert and Mary were united, he and 
Dolly were married in the little vine-covered 
church by the rector who had looked askance at 
him a few years before. 

And they were happy with the happiness of 
youth. Nelson Etheridge had come back safe. 
Dr. Daniel, now with a major's stripes, walked 
much in the garden with Emily, from whom, be- 
fore going away, he had gained a certain 
promise. 

Stewart had indeed come to his own again, 
and he would have been a delight to his father's 
eyes could the old colonel have seen him riding 



310 THE FANATICS 

about the plantation among the negroes who re- 
mained, and directing the repair of the damages 
which the war had made. He would never go 
back to Dorbury now, but his memory oft re- 
verted to the old scenes and old acquaintances. 
His description of JSTigger Ed had so pleased 
Dolly that it resulted in the receipt of the follow- 
ing letter by that gentleman one day in Dor- 
bury : 

" My Deak Ed : — You will remember me as 
one of the boys who used to run around the 
streets after you years ago, and later as one of 
the First, when you were in command. If you 
will come down here where there are lots of your 
people, I'll give you a position on my plantation 
where you won't be teased. Let me know if you 
will come. It will be much better than going 
about ringing an old bell. 

" Walter Stewart." 

With this letter the negro marched into the 
office of one of Dorbury's young lawyers one 
day. The lawyer had been with the First. 

" I want you to read dis an' answeh it, mistah 
— 'scuse me — lootenant." 

The young fellow took it and his face flushed 
as he read it. 

" Uh huh," said Ed, "now you answer it, please 
suh." 

" All right," the young fellow scribbled for a 



CONCLUSION 311 

moment, and then turned saying, "I think you'd 
better make it a telegram, Ed." 

"Wha'fu'?" 

" Shorter, more expressive." 

"Les' hyeah it." 

The young man picked up the slip of paper 
and read slowly and carefully, "Mr. Walter 
Stewart, Stewart House, Kockford Co., Virginia. 
You be damned." 

Ed started as if he had been shot, and then 
said hastily, " Oh, no, lootenant. I reckon I 
won't send dat. A telegram's too 'spressive." 

" How dare he send for you ? " the young man 
broke in. " You belong to Dorbury. You're a 
part of it." 

"Yes, co'se I is, but I wants to be 'spressive 
and curtchus too. Jes' you write an' tell him 
some'p'n 'bout me wanting to 'tain my 'ficial 
position." 

This advice was taken and the result was that 
"Walter threw the household into convulsions 
over an epistle couched in the most elegant lan- 
guage which informed Mr. Stewart that while he 
appreciated the very kind offer, the writer — Ed 
couldn't write a line — preferred to retain his 
official position, in view of the fact that the emol- 
uments thereof had been materially increased. 

And it was true. There were men who had 



312 THE FANATICS 

seen that black man on bloody fields, which were 
thick with the wounded and dying, and these 
could not speak of him without tears in their eyes. 
There were women who begged him to come in 
and talk to them about their sons who had been 
left on some Southern field, wives who wanted to 
hear over again the last words of their loved 
ones. And so they gave him a place for life and 
everything he wanted, and from being despised 
he was much petted and spoiled, for they were 
all fanatics. 



THE END 



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